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Armed Forces Day (May 18) 2002 Message from the Secretary of Defense

National Guard Bureau

WASHINGTON, May 13, 2002 – Since 1950, our Nation has celebrated the third Saturday in May as Armed Forces Day, an occasion to reflect upon and recognize the devotion to duty and service of our men and women in uniform.

It is a day to remind all Americans of our military members' contributions in guarding and maintaining the liberties we cherish. The past year has tested your skills and abilities as America and its allies wage a war on terrorism that we did not seek but will not lose. As President Bush noted, "We are called to defend freedom against ruthless enemies. And, once again, we need steadfastness, courage and hope." As our armed forces have so often, you are meeting that challenge.

Since September 11, America has drawn renewed strength from our values. Through the service of our military members, and the support of the American people, friends and foes alike know that we are a nation United for Freedom. In the President's words, "The battle is now joined on many fronts. We will not waver; we will not tire; we will not falter; and we will not fail."

On Armed Forces Day 2002, the American people express their thanks to all soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines, and Coast Guardsmen for your continuing role in securing the blessings of liberty for all of us. Whether on tarmacs or targeting computers, flight decks or foot patrols, you are patriots all, and the Nation is exceptionally grateful for your dedicated and noble service.

Donald H. Rumsfeld

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