President Offers Thanks to Past, Present Servicemembers
By Sgt. 1st Class Doug Sample, USA
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Aug. 20, 2005 With the four-year anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States three weeks away, President Bush used his weekly radio address to offer appreciation to current and former military veterans for their sacrifices in the war on terror.
"In this war, our nation depends on the courage of those who wear the uniform," the president told radio listeners.
Bush said the mission is clear to the nation's men and women serving in the armed forces. "Our troops know that they're fighting in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere to protect their fellow Americans from a savage enemy," he said. "They know that if we do not confront these evil men abroad, we will have to face them one day in our own cities and streets, and they know that the safety and security of every American is at stake in this war, and they know we will prevail."
During the coming weeks, the president said he plans to meet with servicemembers who have been on the front lines in the war on terror.
Next week in Idaho, the president said, he will visit with soldiers of the Idaho National Guard, and with airmen at Mountain Home Air Force Base who played a leading role in the air campaign in Afghanistan after the Sept. 11 attacks.
Later in Utah, Bush said, he will attend the Veterans of Foreign Wars convention, and then will travel to San Diego to observe the 60th anniversary of Victory in Japan Day with World War II veterans and current servicemembers.
"I will thank all of them for their service in the war on terror, and I will thank the families who make their essential work possible," he said.
The president acknowledged that the war on terror involves sacrifices.
"By their courage and sacrifices, today's soldiers, sailors, airmen, Coast Guardsmen and Marines are taking their rightful place among the heroes of history, and the American people are thankful and proud," Bush said. "In this war, many of these brave men and women have given their lives to defend their fellow citizens and to bring the hope of freedom to millions who have not known it. We owe these fallen heroes our gratitude, and we offer their families our heartfelt condolences and prayers."
The president reminded listeners that the United States must "finish the task" that troops have given their lives for and honor their sacrifice by completing the mission in Iraq and Afghanistan.
"We can be confident in the ultimate triumph of our cause," he said, "because we know that freedom is the future of every nation and that the side of freedom is the side of victory."