On Veterans Day, we remember first those who fell and never came home. We remember our veterans with appreciation and respect. We remember them as examples of valor and selfless service that inspires us all. As Americans, we acknowledge our love for our veterans, especially at gatherings on Veterans Day and Memorial Day. While our feelings are sincere, it is important for us to remember that veterans are not only a part of our past but also part of our present and future.
The heroism that has been demonstrated by veterans, beginning with the American Revolution through the Battle of Midway and until today, is sometimes unnoticed by those who enjoy the security that their sacrifices have provided. Although our debt to these heroes can never be repaid, our gratitude and respect must last forever. We must also instill that same gratitude and respect in future generations.
According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, there are approximately 19 million veterans as of this year. Our Gulf War-era veterans now account for the largest share of all U.S. veterans, surpassing the Vietnam-era veterans. The Pew Research Center conducted a survey and the results show a majority of Americans continue to see veterans’ services as important priorities. As the share of the U.S population with military experience is declining, it is more important than ever for us to remember our veterans’ sacrifices. We must never let the next generations forget that our veterans are ordinary people who do extraordinary things. As a community, we must never forget that we are called to serve our veterans as well as they served us.
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