To the many military members and veterans I know and to the many, many thousands I do not, I thank you for your commitment to the ideals of the United States and your service to our country. Although you are many when viewed as a collective, you are few when scattered about the whole of our society. Your willingness to do the job that must be done to ensure the freedom and democracy that underpins everything this country stands for is noble. You have put your country’s well-being above your own and many of you will carry a weight your whole life for doing so.
It is good that your service is honored today, but I hope for a time that your service equates with a more enduring respect that transcends the memorials and days of honor. I hope for a day when when the systems that serve you, the communities that have benefited from your service, and the country that has endured based on your selflessness treats you continuously with a level of honor and respect that should be afforded those who willingly defend our country with their lives. I believe this time is coming as we have seen a more dramatic focus on veteran issues as of late; alas, it is unfortunate that it has been so long in the coming.
Members of the military and our cherished veterans, I thank you today and every day for what you have given of yourself so that the rest of us can enjoy the freedoms we do. As the mom of a veteran I understand better than many that the protection and defense of our ideals comes with a cost. I know the United States owes a debt to you – the brave men and women who serve and have served our military needs – and I, as an American citizen, stand behind repayment of that debt in the form of services and opportunities befitting a country’s heroes.
Day one thousand five hundred and eighty-eight of the new forty – obla di obla da