My family and I would like to thank every Veteran alive today. Today's Veterans are the reason we still live on free ground, paid for with their service. I know this. All Veterans stand securely on the shoulders of so many who went before them. And just like they, they build the foundation our freedom rests upon.
To every American who stands upon free Land today ~ there is no higher honor to a Veteran than to have been entrusted to stand guard for you and preserve your Freedom of Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. When all diplomacy failed, to have bodily prevented these rights of being stripped from you. It is no less an honor to also have served any American citizen who have taken these rights for granted. Who have not honored, showed respect or loyalty to the Veterans who have willingly stood sentinel between any bullet, bomb or weapon and youself. We have been honored to have safeguarded your right to do so.
Why are we honored to do so? Because we realize you do not understand deep within yourself, the concept that Freedom is not hereditary. It is not automatically passed down to you or your children. 'Freedom Is Not Free' is just a slogan for you, not a realization of fact because you have had no frame of reference to compare it with. Freedom is paid for with sweat, blood, determination and lives when all diplomacy fails. Less than one percent of the American population today serve in our voluntary armed forces. They have or will have seen those same rights you take for granted, stripped from citizens of foreign countries. When the eyes cannot deny the vivid image burned within them, the memories of the mind will not forget. Forever more, they are changed. Veterans who no longer serve actively, live this.
To those Veterans who no longer stand among us, I want to assure you that your spirit, loyalty, strength, courage, patriotism and life has not been in vain. I have seen this with my own eyes. I have felt this in my own heart. I have nurtured this in my own soul and I have tended it with my own hands. There are no words with depth of meaning to thank you for protecting and ensuring that I may have done so.