November 11, 2009
“We gather here today to honor and thank our brave and dedicated veterans. We pay this special recognition not because these selfless men and women ever asked for it. But because they deserve it.
“They give up time with their families. Many of them give up their careers. And tragically, far too many give up their lives. All of this for the cause of defending and securing these
“But you’ll never hear a Veteran ask for praise or thanks. Because that’s what sacrifice is all about—and no one knows sacrifice better than our men and women in uniform
“Whether they ask for it or not, everyone in this great land owes them a deep and abiding debt of gratitude.
“We owe this to our Veterans—not just one day a year—but every single day. And not just in word, but in deed.
“As a community and nation, we must do more to serve and protect our Veterans. We have to ensure their essential needs are being met. Tragically, there are clear signs we’re falling short.
“Across this country, more than 131,000 Veterans are homeless. In the midst of this tough economy, the unemployment rate among Veterans is significantly higher than the national average. And, when it comes to the health of our honorable service members, too many aren’t getting the care they need to deal with conditions like post traumatic stress disorder.
“Our veterans have sacrificed so much defending this nation. But they should never have to sacrifice their livelihoods after they return home from service.
“We all have a responsibility—from members of Congress, to community leaders, to business owners, to family members—to give of our time, money, effort and leadership to lift up our veterans in need.
“They’ve defended our right to pursue the American dream. Their service should never cost them the opportunity to pursue the dream themselves.
“So on this day, let us all commit to doing even more tomorrow, and the next day and throughout the years ahead to honor and protect our Veterans.
“They’ll never ask for our help or thanks, but we owe it to them. Because without their sacrifice, we wouldn’t be here today.
“God bless our veterans and God bless the
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