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Bush Sends Message to Service Members, Civilians

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Jan. 26, 2001 – President George W. Bush sent a message to the armed forces and the civilians who support the defense department via the nation's incoming 21st defense secretary.

Donald H. Rumsfeld read a message from the president during a Full Honors Welcome Ceremony Jan. 26 at the Pentagon.

Here is the text of that message:

"To the armed forces of the United States and to the men and women who support them.

"Your service in the cause of freedom is both noble and extraordinary. Because of you, America is strong and the flame of freedom burns brighter than at any time in history.

"Your country can never repay you for the sacrifices and hardships you endure, but we are grateful for the liberties we enjoy every day because of your service.

"As your Commander-in-Chief I will always support you and your families so that this great nation continues to have the greatest armed forces in the history of the world.

"Thank you. "

George W. Bush

President of the United States

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