To all those who have honored themselves and our country with their military service, we who have relied on your valor for our defense and protection say, “Thank you.”
In times past, those who would do us harm made no deception as to who they were. Times have changed.
Now, nameless, faceless terrorists threaten us with their stealthy disguises and sneak attacks, harming any who stand in the way of their agenda. They maim and kill without regard to age or gender or innocence.
They preach violence in the name of a god of love. And in the name of this god they punish all who disobey his savage edicts – whether that person is a member of their faith or a person who rejects it. They, as with all who follow a path of hatred and anger, are Satan’s spawn and his dearest children and disciples.
Those who live abroad and support their activities are as culpable as the perpetrators of these violent deeds. And those at home who are apologists for their actions are guilty of crimes against all humanity.
So it is with a heartfelt sense of gratitude that we thank you for your service, those who are currently on active and reserve duty; those of you who have given more than your fair share and have retired; and especially those who gave the final measure and are no longer with us on this day – other than in our thoughts and in our prayers.
I can think of no greater tribute than the words and encouragement from the final verse of one of my favorite hymns:
“Leave no unguarded place,
no weakness of the soul,
Take every virtue every grace,
and fortify the whole;
From strength to strength go on,
wrestle and fight and pray,
Tread all the powers of darkness down
and win the well fought day.”