Please join me this Veterans Day in honoring the veterans who have served bravely in our armed forces. It is a day to recognize them for all they have done to ensure our country remains the beacon of freedom to the rest of the world.
For more than 247 years, our military has protected the ideals of freedom and democracy. It’s not machines nor technologies, but the people that we honor on Veterans Day. Technological innovations have changed our military dramatically over the years, but war is and always will be about the courageous men and women in our armed forces facing and defeating the enemy.
I agree with Thomas Paine that every man and woman who risks his or her life for freedom, for something greater than oneself is a hero. And I am so proud of the men and women who have carried the torch of freedom and liberated a continent during World War II, helped defeat communist aggression in Korea and Vietnam, and fought the war on terrorism in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Today U.S. forces are bravely serving around the world, including in a volatile and unpredictable Middle East in support of our close ally Israel.
The uniforms, equipment, and faces of our military have changed over the years, but I am as moved today by the bravery of our soldiers as I have always been by studying about the distinguished men and women who served in the early days of our nation’s birth.
Since the day our nation was founded, war and conflict never have been and never will be something we consider pleasant. Many of our veterans have experienced incredible pain and suffering on the battlefield, but war also creates an unbreakable bond among our veterans that is truly inspiring. That bond is based on shared sacrifices and the unwavering commitment to our nation.
When our country called, our brave veterans answered. When duty required them to stand the line, they did.
That is why it is so important that we honor those who have served us through passage of legislation. I have seen and have been very fortunate to be a small part of some of the changes for the better for those who have served in our armed forces from Tennessee. Just this year, the General Assembly passed legislation that helps veterans obtain jobs, supports veteran-owned businesses and funds honor guard ceremonies for veteran funerals. We have a lot more work to do to support our veterans and we will continue that work in the next legislative session and beyond.
Veterans continually demonstrate to the world those core values of loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity and personal courage. Their actions, their dedication, and their valor shine as an example for the next generation of veterans to carry on.
The torch continues to be passed. It is passed to those who now valiantly stand the line and engage the enemy that threatens our freedom.
Join me on Veterans Day to thank those who have served and those who continue to serve now. Let us never forget the debt of gratitude we owe to those who have bravely defended our freedom.