Commentary

November 15, 2012

America’s enduring obligation: Honoring Soldiers for Life

Joseph Westphal
Under Secretary of the Army

WASHINGTON — As we celebrate Veterans Day on the anniversary of the Armistice ending World War I, we remember the fallen, and show our solemn pride for the heroism, strength, and dedication of those still among us — the veterans we know as our friends, neighbors, and relatives.

This is a tradition that underscores what our nation stands for — the idea of “service before self.” Every American who has ever worn our nation’s uniform in war or peace has assumed risks and made sacrifices on our common behalf. We are not just the beneficiaries of their bravery; we are the stewards of their sacrifice.

Our veterans are “Soldiers for Life,” and the Army is committed to their lifelong success. We will always honor our enduring obligation to connect them with opportunities beyond their military service. As veterans, our Soldiers bring exceptional training, values and experience to any community. The leadership and technical skills developed in the military are valuable additions to any organization, and I encourage all businesses to hire veterans.

Every year, our humble words on Veterans Day can never do justice to the sacrifices made by our veterans and their families; by those who returned and those who did not; by those who live among us today and those whose memory we honor.

So, let us simply convey to all of America’s veterans what is inscribed on the World War I Victory medal: A grateful nation remembers.

Joseph Westphal
30th Under Secretary of the U.S. Army




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