It is right to honor those who serve this country. It is right to have this day of public appreciation. It is right to acknowledge in ceremony, and song, in words and prayer, the special gifts each veteran contributes to freedom, and liberty, democracy.
To each veteran today, America says thank you for your gift of time, thank you for your gifts of life, thank you for your gift of limb and thank you for your gift of talent, courage and bravery.
Veteran means people not gender. It means men and women. It means combatants and non-combatants alike, for a veteran's strength and a nation’s strength are one. It is both assertive and nurturing.
In the past, men and women have served separately, but equally for an ideal. Today they serve together and today they are honored together. It is right.
November 11th, 1911, at the eleventh hours an armistice was signed to end the First World War and supposedly all wars. The First World War was the war to end all wars.
Humanity did not learn it then and it did not learn it in previous or subsequent wars and conflicts.
Is not the phenomenal number of dead, both civilian and combatants, on both sides enough to let us collectively see the insanity of war?
We fought the British and today they are our fast and loyal friends.
We fought the French and today they are our friends.
We fought among ourselves and today we are one united nation.
We fought the Kaiser Germans and today Germany is our friend.
We fought the Germans again and the Italians and today we are friends.
We fought the Japanese and today we are allies and fierce competitors.
Since we seem to eventually become allies and friends and trading partners with most of those we have warred against, isn’t there some way we can see beyond bombs and bloodshed to accomplish a camaraderie in global living?