For generations, the men and women of our Armed Forces have demonstrated their willingness to put country before self.  They are patriots who serve for the greater good of our nation and each year, we set aside Veterans Day to honor and express our gratitude to the nearly 22 million veterans living today as well as veterans of generations past and all those future veterans who are still serving at home and abroad.

Since the first Veterans Day in 1954, Americans have come together to honor and commemorate the service and sacrifice of all generations of men and women who answered the call to serve our nation.  But Veterans Day is not for veterans alone – it is a day for all Americans to celebrate and be a part of.  Together we can work to ensure that we, as a nation, fulfill our promise to provide our veterans with the support and appreciation they deserve.  Their legacy surrounds all Americans each day through the freedoms they guarantee us – in our public meeting places, the places we pray and play, and in the places we cast our votes or lines.  We are able to do these things, and enjoy these freedoms, because of those who have worn the uniform of our Armed Services.  They have answered the call to service – ensuring that in times of both conflict and peace their courage would not waver.  They have protected and upheld the great promises of our Constitution.

Veterans Day is an opportunity for all Americans to come together to celebrate our veterans’ strength and resilience; to help those veterans who need it; to honor them by creating new opportunities after their service; and to support them so they can continue making a profound difference in the world.  Our veterans deserve our lasting gratitude and respect not just today but throughout the year.  Without their service and sacrifice we wouldn’t be able to enjoy the extraordinary freedoms we as Americans cherish.

Join us today, and every day, in honoring the millions of living Veterans and recognizing their great achievements.  Please take a moment today to thank a veteran and to remember those who are no longer with us.