Remarks by the Deputy Secretary of Defense
The Honorable Gordon R. England
The Center For The Intrepid and Fisher House II and IV Dedication Ceremony
Brooke Army Medical Center
Fort Sam Houston, San Antonio, TX
29 January 2007
This is a day to say thanks…a day to remember injured and fallen warriors…and a day to remind us once again to “never forget.”
Thanks to Bill White, Ken Fisher, Richard Santulli, Arnold Fisher and the entire Intrepid team for their vision, commitment and dedication to this center…and their commitment to the men and women who wear the cloth of our nation. It was their vision that this center would be a volunteer effort reflecting the love, the caring and the appreciation of fellow citizens for those who gave so much to preserve our freedoms and liberties.
It’s a special privilege to be here with Senator Hillary Clinton of New York, and Senator John McCain of Arizona.
Senator McCain, thank you for your earlier service to America as a pilot in the US Navy, where you served with valor, honor and distinction. Your own personal recovery from the wounds of war is still a source of inspiration to all.
Today, we thank all of the Nation’s injured warriors, some with us here today-others at military hospitals, VA hospitals and recovering at home.
And we remember those who cannot be with us today… We remember Zack and Elizabeth Fisher, and Anthony Fisher, who built a program that has touched and improved the lives of thousands of service members and their families. Even if you never met them.. anyone who has ever visited or stayed at a Fisher House does, in fact, know Zack, Elizabeth, and Anthony.
And we remember those who gave their lives protecting our Nation and we pay tribute to their sacrifice… Like Corporal Jason Dunham, USMC, who earlier this month was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor by President Bush. Jason Dunham suffered grievous wounds saving fellow Marines. Those wounds ultimately took his life. It is this profound sense of responsibility for others that shines throughout our military.
Corporal Dunham and all those who have made the ultimate sacrifice and all those recovering from their wounds… remind us of the price of freedom.
It’s a price that is periodically required to be paid in blood and suffering and courage… And in this new war on terror, it’s a price that has been paid in the Pentagon, in New York, in Pennsylvania, in Iraq, in Afghanistan and wherever the brave men and women who wear the cloth of our Nation serve.
“Never forget” that for 230 years brave Americans have come forward to protect our way of life. We owe it to all of them, and to our children and grandchildren to preserve the freedoms we all so cherish
May God Bless our wounded and fallen warriors and their families and may they be comforted in their pain and grief. May we all be inspired by the great Americans who made this center possible and the great American heroes who will benefit. Through their example, let us all respond to life’s greatest challenges with self-sacrifice, courage and dignity… And may God continue to bless this great American nation. Winston Churchill often said, “You make a living by what you get-you make a life by what you give.” Those here today understand Churchill’s meaning.
May God Bless you …and your families.