The missions we have given to our servicemen and women have changed many times over the years.
They have been asked to step forward and take the lead against oppressive governments in Europe and Asia. They have been asked to defend democracy and our way of life in all corners of the world. They have been asked to provide aid and comfort to the less fortunate.
They have been asked to stand tall in the battle against terrorism.
No matter what is asked of them, they are always willing to place their lives on hold to preserve the freedoms enjoyed by all Americans, all the while knowing that there is a price to pay for defending our values and way of life.
It is their sacrifices that we honor on this Veterans Day.
The names of the battlefields and their locations have changed dramatically during the years. From the Argonne Forest to Iwo Jima and Normandy, from Pusan to the Mekong Delta, from Beirut to Fallujah to Baghdad, members of our armed forces have always answered the call.
It does not matter what branch they have served in - Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard or Merchant Marine in wartime - whether they served a short time or were career military, those who serve reflect our America, coming from different faiths, all walks of life and all races.
Their differences don't matter - all are dedicated to defending our country.
We hope that every American will take a moment today to thank a veteran or an active duty serviceman or woman for the sacrifices they have been willing to make. We also hope you will remember their brothers in sisters and arms who have made the ultimate sacrifice and are at rest forever.
It's the least we can do to let them know we are grateful for their efforts.