We remember the words of Ronald Reagan when he said "Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it was once like in the United States where men were free." These words of Reagan are well worth remembering.

Many in our Community and in our Country have stood firm on behalf of freedom and liberty. We will not forget on this Memorial Day or any day, the virtue of those who have and are serving with such noble commitment and distinction. They are indeed a most honorable part of exceptionalism in America.

We pay grateful tribute to our American veterans and to all of our current armed service and civilian personnel who are in the valiant service of our Country. The story of America has been written by the selfless and noble deeds of hardworking and dedicated men and women dedicated to liberty and justice in a free society. Our American Veterans and current Service and Non-uniformed Personnel are truly endemic of that ranking. We extol them for their dedication to our homeland and liberty. Their noble service is endemic of American Exceptionalism.

Today, the United States stands as a beacon of hope for all humanity, because our nation's experiment as a republic has been guarded and ennobled by our veterans' devotion. We Americans and the world can never thank them enough. George Washington said, "the willingness which our young people are likely to serve in any war, no matter how justified, shall be directly proportional as to how they perceive the veterans of earlier wars were Treated and Appreciated by their nation." George Washington said it well.

Often, we take for granted the freedoms we enjoy. Those freedoms were paid for with the lives of others few of us actually knew. This is a time to remember. For this is a national debt that can only be truly repaid by individual Americans. By honoring the nation's war dead, we preserve their memory and thus memorialize their service and sacrifice.

Over the course of our history, some 42 million Americans have served--and more than one million have given the supreme sacrifice--so that we and future generations of Americans might live in freedom. We are the beneficiaries of their courage, their sacrifice and their dedication, and so are countless of freedom loving people around the world.

In the past century alone, through two world wars and the long, tense struggles of the Cold War, and on the front lines in Korea, Vietnam, Beirut, Grenada, Panama, Somalia, Haiti, the Persian Gulf, the Balkans, Iraq, and Afghanistan our brave men and women in uniform have risked their lives. They risked all they had to protect U.S. interests, assist our allies, promote peace, and advance our ideals. They fought our enemies on foreign shores, at sea and in the air to preserve freedom. They had no second thoughts as to what had to be done. Ronald Reagan said it well, "No arsenal, or no weapon in the arsenals of the world, is so formidable as the will and moral courage of free men and women." Thanks to their extraordinary record of brilliant service, more people now live under freedom and democratic rule than at any other time in history. And today, America is a stronger Nation in a more secure world because of our veterans and truly because of those who are currently serving in the Armed Forces of our Country. They are indeed bright, schooled, and courageous men and women!

President Kennedy once said, "Democracy is never a final achievement. It is a call to untiring effort, to continual sacrifice and to the willingness, if necessary, to die in its defense." We give thanks to the veterans and to the current members of our Armed Forces and willing civilians for their valiant dedication. Whether serving on bases and in ports at home or deployed across the globe, they have endured hardship and danger to protect our Nation and to assist freedom loving people around the world. Their deeds of commitment and valor bind us in our past, inspire us in the present, and strengthen us to meet the challenges of the future. Theirs is an inspiration WE WILL NOT FORGET. And that is how we see it FROM OUR PERSPECTIVE.