On this Veterans Day, please join with in thanking our veterans for their service, duty and sacrifices that have kept our country safe.

George Washington became famous for many reasons; he was the general that defeated the British during the Revolutionary War and the man who would become the first president of the United States. However, George Washington was also a veteran who shared in the combat, fear and misery in the field with his Continental Army.

When the Revolutionary War was over and the nation was safe from foreign enemies, Washington was forced to bid farewell to his fellow officers, soldiers and assembled veterans. “With a heart filled with love and gratitude, I now take leave of you. I most devoutly wish that your latter days may be as prosperous and happy as your former ones have been glorious and honourable.”

Those in attendance were overcome as Washington asked the congregated soldiers to “come and take me by the hand.” Tears flowed freely as each veteran clasped Washington’s hand and embraced each other, many for the last time, as they went their separate, peacetime ways. Afterward, Washington turned to exit the Long Room of Fraunce’s Tavern and paused at the door to wave goodbye for the last time, feeling the same emotions that veterans from every American conflict have experienced at that moment—that this final gathering of the best men and women they had ever known had to end. These veterans had freely given the best parts of their lives to ensure our safety and freedom and so our country could live on in peace.

For this sacrifice of youth and innocence that has delivered freedom to American citizens, a simple thanks seems insufficient. It seems an inadequate response to address those brave people who went where I didn’t have to go, who fought on my behalf and sacrificed at least a portion of the best parts of their lives when I did not. That is a debt that, although I can never fully repay, I can acknowledge on this day with appreciation and respect. I guarantee the veterans that you thank for their service to our country will respond with a clear eye and firm handshake.

On behalf of, we say thank you to our veterans for their service and their selfless sacrifices on behalf of our country.

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