Years ago a British soldier penciled a bitter verse on a sentry box:
God and the soldier all men adore / In times of trouble, but no more, / For when war is ended and all things righted, / God is neglected, the old soldier slighted.
The purpose of Veterans Day is to make sure that never happens in America.
This day is no longer called Armistice Day, but it began as a memorial of the armistice which stopped World War I at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918. That armistice ended one of the bloodiest wars in the history of the world. Now our nation finds herself in another conflict. Our military men and women in Iraq and Afghanistan are defending our freedom and promoting the cause of justice, for the thankful and the thankless alike. Many have paid the ultimate price fighting for our country.
General George S. Patton said, “I do not mourn our fallen dead, but rather, thank God that such men lived.”
Today a grateful nation opens her heart. All of us—every man and woman in this country—owe the 28 million veterans still living, and the many who have passed on, a lasting debt of gratitude.
More than a million made the ultimate sacrifice. They died in service, most of them young. In the words of one soldier-poet: “They tasted death in their youth so that liberty might grow old.”
To all those who serve in uniform or have served, thank you.