What a wonderful day. And what a wonderful opportunity this is to say thanks to all of you who serve us so well.
And how fitting that we gather here during the week of the 4th of July–a time when we celebrate our nation’s independence.
This is a time that unites us as a people–that invites us to share the warm security of the freedom that sometimes seems so easily taken for granted.
So amid all the friends, family and fireworks, this is a time that really demands we pause to recognize those who’ve made it possible for all of us to share this joyful privilege of being Americans.
We’re here today to celebrate you. To thank all of you whose service gives us our freedom and liberty. To say: “Welcome Home”.
And we’re here today to remember. To honor the many who are not with us today. To pay tribute to those who served us, protected us, gave us literally all they had.
To say thanks–and to give thanks.
We are here, we are free, we are secure because they loved this country and what it stands for. Because they loved its people. Because they loved us and our country so much that they put it all above their own lives.
I was taught, and I believe, that “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends”. For her country. For
It’s our responsibility to return that love by being citizens worthy of their sacrifice. To unite, not divide. To give back to our community, state and country with grace. To lift up our brothers and sisters unselfishly and whole-heartedly. To do justice–and to fight injustice–at every turn.
Let’s do that– let’s serve–with the same love we received from those women and men who died for our country.
God bless you. God bless America. God bless and protect those who serve it.