Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel released a Veterans Day message to all Defense Department employees, asking them to honor the nation’s military veterans on this “uniquely special American day,” and reminding them that “America’s obligations to those who answered the call to serve are only beginning.”
Here is the full text of his message:
To All DoD Personnel:
The American people set aside Veterans Day each year to honor all who have served our country in uniform. In quiet tributes and grand parades, at community centers and war memorials, Americans of all backgrounds come together on November 11th to celebrate the men and women who have fought to keep our country strong and free.
For those who served and those still serving, Veterans Day is a time to reflect on their own experiences, and to acknowledge their enduring bonds with each other. Every generation has faced its own set of challenges, but the millions of men and women who have served in the United States Armed Forces are united by their common duty and uncommon courage.
Veterans Day is equally important for non-veterans, because it is an opportunity for the American people to learn more about the great sacrifices that have been made on their behalf – especially during the past twelve years of war. The United States is now winding down the longest period of sustained combat in our history, but America’s obligations to those who answered the call to serve are only beginning.
Like generations before them, America’s newest veterans are poised to help our nation thrive and prosper in the 21st century. They are professionals who have mastered advanced technologies, honed their leadership skills, and demonstrated character, courage, and a profound sense of duty.
From the oldest veterans to the men and women currently serving our nation, all Americans who have served in uniform deserve the nation’s appreciation and respect on this uniquely special American Day.
Happy Veterans Day.
Secretary of Defense
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