Armed Forces Day is an opportunity for all Americans to express their gratitude to service members, military families, and veterans who keep this nation strong and safe. In 2013, we mark the twelfth consecutive Armed Forces Day with our nation at war – the longest period of sustained combat in our history, fought entirely by volunteers who made the courageous choice to answer the nation’s call.
President Harry Truman, who proclaimed the nation’s first Armed Forces Day, once said: “America was not built on fear. America was built on courage, on imagination and an unbeatable determination to do the job at hand.”
That courage, imagination, and determination comes from ordinary citizens like you who have stepped forward to do extraordinary things throughout our nation’s history.
To all our Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen: take pride – not only on Armed Forces Day but every day – in the uniform that you wear and the patriotic duty you perform. You are striving to make a difference and leading purposeful lives. You are part of a force that is admired and respected both at home and abroad. Remember that there is no challenge that cannot be met through the shared determination of the world’s greatest military.
To the husbands, wives, sons, daughters and loved ones of our service members: Armed Forces Day is also a day to recognize the considerable sacrifices you make every day, and for this nation to reaffirm its commitments to you. You too have made our nation stronger and safer.
To our nation’s veterans: thank you for the service you gave to this country and for the support that you give our men and women carrying on your legacy today. As Americans take this Armed Forces Day to reflect on what the military has meant for this country, I hope they also find new ways to show their admiration and respect for all those in our military family. Words of thanks and support will never be enough to repay the debt that this nation owes its patriots.