Saturday, November 11, 2006

Solemn Promise

From President Bill Clinton's 2000 Veterans' Day Address:

This was when we had a real President.

We [] honor our veterans by cherishing with all our hearts the freedoms they paid such a price to defend. If ever there was a doubt about the value of citizenship, and each individual's exercise of the freedom of citizenship to vote, this week's election certainly put it to rest. And if ever there was a question about the strength of our democratic institutions in the face of healthy and natural political argument, it has been answered by the measured response of the American people to these extraordinary events. [...]

[W]e honor our veterans by meeting our part of the solemn compact we have with each and every soldier, sailor, airman, Marine and Coast Guardsman, regardless of the conflict in which they fought, that we will do all in our power to find them and bring them home if they are captured, missing in action, or fallen on the battlefield. [...]

When history looks back upon the records of our age and our nation, centuries from now, I believe it will be written that once there was a great nation of free people who sent their very best young men and women out to serve on the frontiers of freedom in uniform. They went forth to defend their nation and its ideals, giving up the comforts and conveniences of home. Too many never returned to their families, but none who served ever sacrificed in vain.

They led lives of great consequence, for they kept the torch of liberty burning in the oldest democracy on Earth. Each and every one of them were heroes, and gave to every child born thereafter a precious and irreplaceable gift. And their nation remained eternally grateful.

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