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tv   Tonight From Washington  CSPAN  November 11, 2010 8:00pm-11:00pm EST

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>> president obama spent veterans day in south korea where he talked to u.s. troops and korean war veterans at yongsan. he talked about the korean war and the security threat posed by north korea. the president is in south korea
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to attend the g-20 summit. this is 20 minutes. >> hello, yongsan. [applause] it is wonderful to be here. did a round of applause -- give the a round of applause for that great introduction. [applause] a few other people i want to make mention of -- we are so proud and what to thank our outstanding representatives here in the republic of korea, ambassador kathleen segm igmund. give her a big round of applause. [applause] a former colleague of mine in the illinois state senate who is now a congressman from the great
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state of illinois, peter is with us today. give him a big round of applause. [applause] he is up their period general young is here. give him a big round of applause. [applause] a few other people i want to give thanks to, general don --nson, the sergeant-major we are so proud to have with us the veterans of the korean war. we are honored by their presence. [applause]
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i want to make special mention of one of them -- the congressional medal all honor recipient. give him an extraordinary round of applause. [applause] it is an enormous honor to be here. i have no greater pleasure -- i have no greater privilege then serving as the commander in chief of one of the finest military is the world has ever known. on this veterans day, there is
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no place i would rather be than right here with u.s. forces korea. we had the eighth army in the house. [applause] we have the u.s. navy forces korea. [applause] we have just about every marine in south korea is here today. [applause] happy birthday, marines, by the way. we have a whole lot of civilians, too. we are very proud of you. [applause] it is good to see some spouses and family members in the audience. [applause] you bear the burden of your loved ones service. an empty chair at the dinner table or another holiday where mom or dad or someplace far
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away. i want you to know that this nation recognizes the sacrifices of family as well. we are grateful for your service as well. on this day, we honor every man and woman who has ever worn the uniform of the united states of america. we salute fallen heroes. we keep in our prayers those who are still in harm's way like the men and women serving in iraq and afghanistan. we recall axed of uncommon bravery and selflessness. we also remember that honoring those that served is about more than the words we say on veterans day war memorial day. it is about how we treat our veterans every single day of the year. we make sure they had the care they need and the benefits that they have earned when they come
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home. it is about serving all of you as well as you have served the united states of america. this has been one of my highest priorities since taking office. it is why i ask for one of the largest increases in the va budget in the past 30 years. it is why we are improving care for wounded warriors. especially those with post- traumatic stress and traumatic brain injury. it is why we are working to eliminate the backlog at the va and reforming the entire process with electronic claims and medical records. it is why there are fewer homeless veterans of the street than there were two years ago. it is why there are nearly 400,000 veterans and their families the went to college because of the post-911 gi bill.
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i want all of you to note that when you come home your country will be there for you. that is the commitment i made to you as commander in chief. that is the sacred trust between the united states of america and all who defend its ideas. the trust has been forged in places far from our shores. from the beaches of europe to the jungles of vietnam to the deserts' of a rock and afghanistan -- to the gutters of iraq and afghanistan -- to be deserts' of iraq and afghanistan. within three days they have captured soul. by the end of the next month, they had driven the korean army all the way south. from where things stood in the summer of 1950, it did not appear that the republic of korea would survive much longer.
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at the time many americans had probably never heard of korea. it had only been five years since we had finished fighting the last war. but we knew that if we allowed the unprovoked invasion of a free nation that all three nations would be threatened. for the first time since its creation, the united nations voted to use armed forces to repel the attacks on north korea. on september 15, 1950, american forces landed. the conditions they fall under were some of the worst that americans had ever experienced. the temperatures reached more than 30 below zero in the winter and over 100 degrees in the summer. many of our troops and allies were out manned by as much as 20-one.
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at one point they were hit with artillery shells every day. by the end, the vikings had sometimes evolved into trench warfare. -- by the end of the fighting had sometimes evolve into trench warfare. nearly 37,000 americans would give their lives in korea -- 37,000. but after three years of fighting, our forces finally defeated the invading armies and drove them back over the 38th parallel. one more historian said that while he believed career was the greatest of all trials for american troops, their performance was nothing short of miraculous. many men were responsible for this miracle and they were only teenagers. others had just finished fighting in the second world war. most would go home to raise their families and lived out
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their lives. 62 veterans of the korean war have returned to be with us today. [applause] gentlemen, we are honored by your presence. we are grateful for your service. the world is better off because of what you did here. for those who can, i would ask again that you received the thanks of a grateful nation. -- that you receive the thanks of a grateful nation. they are all standing now. it looks like they are doing great. please give them a big round of applause. [applause]
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i also want to recognize the korean soldiers to battle side- by-side with our own. these men fought bravely and sacrifice greatly for their country. some of them have joined us here as well. thank you, friends. [applause] [speaking korean] we go together. [applause] the veterans who have traveled here today assault battles on the perimeter. they survived the bloodshed at
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heartbreak ridge in the ambush at the reservoir. at one point in that battle, the enemy tossed a grenade into a trench where multiple marines late winded. that is where private hector ran into that stretch, picked up that grenade, and threw it back. it detonated it in his hand and severely injured his arm. but because of what he did, the served in the lives of his fellow marines. he received the medal of honor for his terrorism. he is here today. again, please give them a round of applause. -- please give him a round of applause. [applause]
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each of these men sort their nation with incredible courage and commitment. -- served their nation with incredible courage and commitment. they risked their lives in what is often called the forgotten war. we all want you to know this -- we remember. we remember your courage, we remember your sacrifice and the legacy of your service lives on in a free and prosperous republic of korea. real change comes forward. many people do not live to see the difference they have made in the lives of others. but for the men and women who have served on this peninsula, all you have to do is look around. if you are a veteran who landed
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in 1950 for one of the young troops today, the security is provided has made possible one of the great success stories of our time. there are koreans who can still remember when this country was a little more than rice paddies and villages that would flood during monsoon season. now highways and skyscrapers line that one of the most prosperous, fastest growing democracies in all the world. that progress has transformed the lives of millions of people. you should know that one of these people is a man that went from grinding poverty to the presidency of this country. when i visited last year, i had lunch with president lee 2 i will be seen later today. he shared a story of what it was like growing up as a child in korea. he said, "i hope the american
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people understand how grateful we are for what you have done because we would not be the strong prosperous nation we are at not for the sacrifices made by the men and women of the united states military." that is from the president of this country. because the korean war ended where it began, geographically some began to use a phrase to describe the sacrifices of those who fought here. as we look around this democracy at its grateful, hopeful citizens, this was no tie, this was a victory. it was a victory then, and it is a victory today. 50 years later, a french ship that was forced in a war has become an alliance that has led to greater security and untold progress, not only in the republic of korea, but throughout asia. that is something everyone here
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can be extraordinarily proud of. it is also a reminder of what lies on the other side of the 38th parallel. today the korean peninsula provides the world's greatest conflict between a society that is open at a society that disclosed. between a nation that is dynamic and growing and a government that would rather starve its people than change. the contrast is so stark you can see it from space. as the brilliant lights of sold give way to the utter darkness of the north -- pregnant mice of seoul give -- brilliant lights of seoul give way to the utter darkness of the north. in the wake of aggression, there should be no mistake. the united states will never waver on our commitments to the security of the republic of
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korea. we will not waver. [applause] the alliance between our two nations has never been stronger and along with the rest of the world we have made it clear that the north korean pursuit of nuclear weapons will only lead to more isolation and less security for them. there is another path available to north korea. if they choose to fulfill their international obligations and commitments to the international community, they will have the chance to offer their people opportunity instead of pressure. a future that includes the prosperity and opportunity available to citizens on this end of the korean peninsula. until that day comes, the world can take comfort in knowing that the men and women of the united
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states armed forces or standing watch on freedom of st. frontier. in doing so you carry on the legacy of service and sacrifice that we saw from those provided here all those years ago. it is a legacy we honor and cherish on this veterans day. at the korean war -- at the korean memorial in washington there is a plaque that list the number of americans were killed, when did, missing in action, and held as prisoners of war. it says, "our nation honors its sons and daughters to answer the call to defend a country they never knew and the people they never met." a country they never knew and a people they never met. i know of no better words to capture the selflessness and generosity of every man or woman who has ever wore the uniform of the united states of america. at a time when there has never -- at a time when it has never
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been more tempting to pursue self-interest and personal ambition, all of you here remind us that there are few things that are more fundamentally american than doing what we can to make a difference in the lives of others. that is why you will always be the best that america has to offer the world and tha is why people who have never met you and ner do you will always be grateful to the friend and ally they found in the united states of america. thank you for your service. may god bless you and may god bless the united states of america. thank you. [applause] >> learn more about veterans day
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and the men and women who served in the military at the c-span a video library. authors of the nation's wars and veterans day commemorations to the years. all searchable and all free on your computer any time. student can't video competition is in full swing. make a flight to 8 minute video on this year's theme. up lord your video to c-span. the deadline is january 20. the grand prize is $5,000. go online to >> with president obama traveling in asia, vice president joe biden provided -- presided over the veterans day ceremony. eric shinseki and the commander of the military district at washington also participated. this is about one hour.
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>> ladies and gentlemen, vice president biden has arrived. the hon. eric shinseki, secretary of veterans affairs, the national president of the legion of valor of the united states of america, and the commanding general of the united states army military district of washington.
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>> present arms. >> present flag. [band playing "the star spangled banner"]
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>> shoulder arms. >> shoulder flag.
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[drum roll]
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[trumpet plays "taps"] >> right shoulder arms.
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>> forward march.
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color guard left wheel. holt. -- halt. present arms. present flags.
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order forms. -- order arms. order flags. >> commanders, take charge of your units.
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♪ [singing "battle hymn of the republic"] glory, glory hallelujah. glory, glory hallelujah his truth is marching on ♪
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♪ [singing "america the beautiful"]
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>> ladies and gentlemen, please stand for the arrival of the official party. the superintendent of arlington national cemetery, the commanding general of the united states army military district washington, mr. roger denzel, and the hon. eric shinseki, secretary of veterans affairs.
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ladies and gentlemen, the vice president of the united states. ♪ [applause] ladies and gentlemen, please remain standing for the procession of our nation's colors and those of our veterans services organizations. the procession is lead today by a member of the legion of valor whom earned the distinguished
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service cross all serving in afghanistan. as the colors are posted, the united states marine band will play the national march. please place your hand or real heart or render a salute as we posed the colors. -- please place your hand over your heart or render a salute as we post the colors. ♪
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>> order arms. >> please remain standing for the prayer for all veterans delivered by the department of veterans affairs chaplain services.
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>> let us pray. holy god, as we return to arlington to honor america's veterans, we seek your blessing upon hour ceremony and the hundreds of veterans day ceremonies being held at this moment all across our nation and the world. today we pause from the rush of everyday living to remember the sacrifice and service of america's veterans. how very blessed we are to live in a nation that is free and made strong by generations of service members and their families who believed in and were willing to die for american values. these veterans are your gift to our nation. there get to the world is freedom. we honor them today knowing that those who served still carry the weapons of war in their minds,
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bodies, and spirits. their families, all the prow of their service, still suffered loss that can never be replaced. veterans that have returned from the battlefield face unexpected challenges upon returning home. help them to take their skills and build a new and meaningful life in the cities and rural communities all across our land. as we gather here, may your presence bring healing and comfort to our nation's veterans and their families. as we honor our veterans, also bless our sons and daughters as they continue to answer the call of duty to defend the cause of freedom at home and around the wod. here our prayers we pray, amen. >> now on would like to invite
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major kirk lee. he received the navy cross while serving as a marine corps company commander during the korean war. he will lead the "pledge of allegiance." >> i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under god indivisible with liberty and justice for all. >> please be seated. it is now my distinct privilege to introduce the leaders of the
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national veterans service organizations that comprise the veteran's day national committee. the committee was formed by presidential order in 1954 to hold this annual observance in honor of america's veterans and to encourage and support veterans day observances to help the nation. please hold your applause until we have introduced all special guests. if you are able, please stand what i call your name. roger dimsdale, clifford wade, arthur cooper, national president of the retired enlisted association, the congressional medal of honor society, wallace tyson, norbert ryan, national president military officers association of america, the national commander
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of polish speaking american veterans, william mcswayne, albert gonzales, american gi forum, the national command of jewish war veterans of the united states, the national commander of american ex- prisoners of war. catholic war veterans of the united states, the national treasure vietnam veterans of america, richard eubank, commander in chief of veterans of the foreign wars of the united states, the national president of the langdon veterans association, the national commander of the army navy union of the united
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states, the national commander of the noncommissioned officers association, the national vice commander of the american legion, the national commander of the military order of the purple heart of the united states of america, pearl harbor survivors association, fleet reserve association, the national commandant of the marine corps league, michael mccoy, the national president of the military chaplains association, the national president of paralyzed veterans of america, the associate members of the committee are located in the boxes to my left. please hold your applause until the end. the national president of american gold star mothers, the national president of goldstar wives of america, the president
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of blue star mothers of america, director of governor elections -- governor relations for the air force, the national commander of the navy seabee veterans of america, the chairman of the board for hospitalized veterans, the president of humanitarian services for the american red cross, the president of the national association of state directors of veterans affairs, the president of the national association of state veterans homes, richard jones, legislative director for the national association of uniformed services, the president of japanese american veterans association, the chair
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of the board for veterans at went, wounded warrior project, the national president of women's army corps veterans association. ladies and gentlemen, please join me in recognizing our veterans national leadership with your applause. [applause] founded in 1890, the legion of valor of the usa is an organization of veterans who were recipients of our nation's highest decoration for valor, the medal of honor. piecing it -- the navy cross and air force cross. the legion of valor is represented today by the national commander, retired army colonel roger dimsdale to
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receive the distinguished service cross for actions in 1968 in vietnam. it is my pleasure to introduce the host of this year's national veterans day observance, roger dimsdale. [applause] thank you. mr. vice president, distinguished guests, federal -- fellow veterans, welcome to the 2010 observance of veterans day at arlington. this day, november 11, is just one of 365 days that the people of our country should remember our veterans. on behalf of the 700 members of the legion of valor, i am honored to be part of this observance and included in the program that you received when he walked into the amphitheater this morning is a brief description of the legion of
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valor. we are the nation's oldest veterans' service organization, founded in 89 a, as the medal of honor legion. we have tried to demonstrate our commitment to our country and to the ideals for which it stands. as one of the smaller veteran service organizations, our outreach programs are limited. we have an active program to recognize bravery in non-combat situations. a recent example was the award of the legion of valor silver cross to the members of the fort hood military police who captured the alleged gunman who shot and killed 13 members of the fort hood community. in addition to the silver cross for bravery, we have an active program to recognize achievement and -- recognize achievement in the rotc. it is strongly coordinated with
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rotc departments. our small membership, however, does not preclude our active support for promoting veterans affairs. members participated in numerous and -- numerous organizations and communities. a particular concern we have is the challenge of returning veterans in retaining -- in obtaining employment. we hope to enhance employment opportunities that they can be successful. we are proud of these efforts and continue to seek ways in which we can actively contribute. our membership is unique. it is not determined by wealth, education, or birthright. we share only one bond. that bond is having received one of the nation's two highest award for bravery against a hostile enemy. most of these qualities have also received the purple heart
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in connection with their stature. many have been awarded posthumously. on this day, we especially want to remember them for their ultimate sacrifice for our country. for all the hair roots of our members, we are quietly content to provide a service to our country and to the veterans who have sacrificed so much to maintain our freedom. this is the legion of valor. we are extremely proud to have the opportunity to hosted a party service. thank you very much for attending. it is now my privilege to introduce to you the hon. eric shinseki of the department of veterans affairs. [applause] >> good morning, everyone. vice president biden, metal r -- a medal of honor recipients, minority leader banner and other members of congress, secretary
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gates, secretary mccue, secretary donnelly, the joint chiefs of staff are here, i would like to acknowledge them -- general and mrs. casey, general schwartz, general and mrs. amos, and become a lot of the coast guard is here as well. rogerdimsdale -- to roger dimsdale, our thanks for a wonderful ceremony, not the least of which is the great weather you produced. to those of us who were here a year ago, what a difference a year makes. all of the other representatives of our veterans services organizations, we count on your support, your insight, and your leadership. thank you so much for being part of our support network at veterans affairs.
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fellow veterans, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, good morning. for over 90 years now americans have set aside this day and this hour to honor the men and women who have served our coury in peace and in war while wearing the uniform of the united states of america. it is a day of remembrance, a day of thanks, a day of prayers, and a day of promises. promises that the sacrifices of those who have served and are still serving will not be forgotten. promises that returning warriors will not bear their wounds alone. that their families will receive help in facing uncertain futures and that the survivors of those who do not return will be embraced and cared for by a grateful nation. to keep these promises, the
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congress has established the department of veterans affairs. 30% of the va work force are veterans themselves -- selfless americans dedicated to meeting the needs of our nation's veterans each day. veterans do not strive alone. the good people at the va and the american people themselves are needed to address the complex challenges facing veterans who have given so much, especially now, during difficult economic times. last year, president obama and the congress provided va the largest single year budget increase in over 30 years. the president's 2011 budget
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request would increase of the v- 82010 funding by another 10%. 2010 funding by another 10%. the va has used these resources to address some longstanding critical issues with bipartisan support from congress, beginning with the new gi bill. today, 384,000 veterans and their family members are enrolled in this college program. when you include the other education programs, that number goes up over 660,000. awarding service connection for three new diseases for vietnam veterans to work -- who were exposed to agent orange. granting service connection for all combat veterans suffering
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from a verifiable post-traumatic stress disorder. finally, granting service connection for new diseases associated with gulf war illness. we will continueur efforts on behalf of veterans on every front, increasing their access to health care, eliminating the disability claims backlog that frustrates all of us, and ending veteran homelessness in the next five years. with the leadership of the president, continued support of the congress, we will provide quality care and timely benefits to those who have sacrificed the most on behalf of our nation. our special guest today coli shares the president's commitment to america's veterans. -- fully shares the president's commitment to america's veterans. he has seen his, go off to war
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-- his own son go off to war. ladies and gentlemen, i am honored personally and professionally, to present to a patriot in his own right, the vice president of the united states of america, joe biden. [applause] >> thank you very much. shinseki, thank you for your service in uniform and out of uniform. thank you for your hospitality. roger, you spoke well. roger and i were kidding one another. he said, my speech is in big
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print. i said, so is mine. if we are from the same generation. do all of the veterans' organizations, some of them i had the honor to represent thi morning in the white house, thank you. thank you for your service, your vision, in your constant voice on behalf of america. jim, thank you for being the master of ceremonies today. our new superintendent, thank you very much for your hospitality and the great service that you rendered to this nation. it is good to have you here today. speaker -- soon-to-be speaker of the house john boehner, it is good to have you here today. congratulations. [applause] let me say at the outset, i stood here in may to observe memorial day. i think i was talking with secretary gates when i said, this is one of the truly great
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honors bestowed on me as vice- president of the united states, to be able to return here to this amphitheater on veterans day. this slight november chill today contrasts with the 91 degree heat we experienced on that sultry day in may. it should remind us that the heat we endured in may is nothing compared to the heat our veterans endured in world war ii paddling across sunbaked islands in the pacific, for some days going without water. nothing compared to the generation of americans who waited through the rice paddies in the deltas of vietnam. nothing can compare to the heat i experienced when i visited our troops in fallujah this summer.
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i saw a thermometer on a nearby wall that read 115 degrees. these kids do it every single day. the chill in the air today is nothing compared to what our young men fought through in the north korea mountains when it down by enemy fire on frozen ground 60 years ago. nothing compared to the snow and the cold that hampered our forces 66 years ago. nothing compared to what the 86th brigade, that team or the 101st airborne division experienced in the mountains of afghanistan. i have seen it firsthand. i was with general david rodriguez when a snowfall forced our helicopter to land between two jagged peaks 9,000 feet
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above sea level. we landed where the mountain division had just earlier that month climbed to engage al- qaeda. it absolutely blew me away to think of what these kids continue to do, and they are not kids, what these men and women continue to do. ladies and gentlemen, these are fears the warriors engaged and engaging a fierce anime on hostile terrain. -- fierce enemy on hostile terrain. a soldier is the most holy of all humans because he is the most tested. a soldier must coldly learn to put himself in the way of losing his own life without going mad. if you can bring yourself to
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face, not shadows, but real death, described and recognizable, and then you need never be afraid again. i look out at all of you who have served our nation, and all of you who have stood by the side and waited as they served, and i see the most tested among us, the most tested of all americans. i also see the most honorable men and women, as citizens who have never feared the future and are determined to build a better future today. collectively, these people have served and sacrificed for us. they are the heart and soul, the very spine of this nation.
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as a nation, we pause today to thank the more than 23 million surviving veterans who have so bravely and faithfully protected our freedoms. you gave and they gave. [applause] those of you a single year end to those of you assembled that similarity -- those of you assembled here, and those of you assembled at similar ceremonies across the nation, you gave in service lemma and sometimes life, of the filling york -- limb and sometimes life, fulfilling your service to this nation. you call on all of us to
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recognize, to respect, to honor and to care for those who risked their lives so that we can live ours. over the past decade, our military has embarked on a longer time of sustained combat then in all of american history i. more than two million service members have deployed to iraq and afghanistan, more than half of some have returned to civilian life with the honored title of veteran. of those men and women, the very best of this nation, over 40,000 have been wounded, 18,000 wounded, unable to return to duty, andover 5700 -- and over
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5700 have made the ultimate sacrifice, including general kelly's son, who returned home today. only 1% of this nation is fighting these wars. as my wife jill says at every gathering she holds with military families, 100% of america owes them a thank you. 100% of the nation can and must do something to acknowledge what they have done for us and continue to do at this very moment for us. in august, our combat mission came to an end in iraq. the mission has been shifted from combat.
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it is now to advise, assist, train and equip iraq's security forces. there is still great danger in this mission, but it is a mission that moves us closer to the day at the end of next year when our american soldiers returned to america able to leave iraq in the hands of the iraqis. in afghanistan as i speak, our soldiers are ming measurable progress. the overarching goal is to disrupt, dismantle and ultimately defeat al-qaeda in afghanistan and pakistan. this mission also comes at great cost of lives and limbs, but not in a loss of spirit or courage. i, like many of you here, make a
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habit, on a regular basis, of a visiting our hospitals. i was recently at a hospital, and the nurses were taking me around to veterans who were severely wounded. we walked into a young officer's room. he was there with his wife. he had lost one leg at the hip and the other just below the knee. his left hand was mangled. he was asleep. i said, please, to the doctor or nurse, please, do not disturb him. the attending physician said no, he knows you are here. if we do not awaken him, he will be angry. he will be really offended. so they will kim, and i walk been -- so they woke him, and i walked in.
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he reached above his bed, pulled himself up, and said sir, i apologize. it was my intention to be able to stand and salute you when you came in. no self pity. no "why me?" just service to this country. like hundreds of these young men and women that i have met with, do you know what i most often get asked when i turn to their spouse, mother, sister, father? do you know what i most often get asked, and i am not exaggerating? in almost every case, they say, mr. vice president, can you help me get back to my unit? can you help me get back to my unit? [applause]
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folks, they are sending us a message, but they are also sending our enemies a message. the messages that our resolve in the face of the new threats we now confront will never ever waver, because we have so many, so many, so many brave young men and women of this generation who are willing to serve. as the president said, our spirit is strong and it cannot be broken. you cannot outlast us and we will defeat you. ladies and gentlemen, our veterans strength must be matched by our nation's support. our soldiers today are fighting different wars abandon their
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fathers and grandfathers fought. -- than their fathers and grandfathers fought. they are suffering a different wounds, but their obligation remains the same, to train and equip those who go into harm's way and to give them every bit of care that they deserve when they come home. it is not just obligation. it is the only truly, a sacred obligation we have as the government. we have many obligations. but that is the only genuinely sacred obligation that we have. that is why, as general shinseki pointed out, we are making such historic investment in such a bipartisan way, in health, education and economic opportunity for our returning veterans. the veteran affairs office
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itself has many of the resources now to build a 21st century response for those now returning, even while discretionary spending in the budget has given the va one of the biggest budget increases they have had in 30 years, and additional $16 billion, for a total of $140 billion, and they deserve every single penny of it. [applause] as the general said, for the first time the country has shifted the burden. no longer will a soldier, sailor or marine have to prove he needs help. it will be the burden of the government to prove the does not deserve help, a fundamental shift. for the first time in history, we will train and compensate relatives to give help and care to wounded loved ones. [applause]
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as the general pointed out, the new gi bill is helping almost 400,000 veterans, and for the first time, their family members are able to earn a college degree because, as the poet john milton wrote, at they also serve who only stand and wait. our obligations are to the families as well. long after the wars are over in the welcome home parade are finished and the memorials are built, and the streets a renamed, our obligation will endure. only because allf you sitting to my left and i absolutely confident that that obligation will endure, because you will remind to the american people long after, long after these wars are over. there are over 16,000 young men
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and women who will require extensive medical care for the rest of their lives, and their life expectancy is over 35 years. ladies and gentlemen, it is an obligation that the president and die and soon-to-be speaker are fully committed to the filling -- president and i and soon-to-be speaker are fully committed to fulfilling. on behalf of a grateful nation, i thank all of our troops, and all of you who are here today, for sacrificing so much for our country. may god bless you all and may god bless america. and most important, may god protect our troops. thank you. [applause]
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>> please rise and join the u.s. marine band in singing god bless america. ♪ >> bob bless america, -- god bless america, land that i love. stand beside her and guide her through the night with the light from above. from the mountains to the prairies to the oceans white with foam, god bless america, my home sweet home. god bless america, my home sweet home. ♪
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[applause] >> ladies and gentlemen, please remain standing as we retire the callers -- retire the colors. ♪
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[captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2010]
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[applause] >> ladies and gentlemen, this concludes the 2010 national
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veterans day observance at arlington national cemetery. please be seated for the departure of the vice-president of the united states. thank you for coming to honor all the reserve -- all who served. ♪
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>> coming up next, more of veterans day observances with interior secretary can salazar at the vietnam veterans memorial, the ceremony at the world war ii memorial, and homeland security secretary janet napolitano at a ceremony at the world war i memorial at arlington national cemetery. tomorrow, economics writer martin crustinger, and the
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national transportation safety board chairman. that begins at 7:00 a.m. on c- span. >> this weekend, c-span-3 is american history tv visits the eleanor roosevelt project. we learn how the first lady used the media to communicate her ideas. we will see how very different thinking american and british leadership work together to defeat the nazis. and live, saturday november 28th, a daylong symposium on the civil war from the national archives. american history tv, all weekend every weekend, on c-span 3. >> in an ideal world, the fact that people were flooding the mortgage market would have sent some signals to people that
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things were going to crash and burn, but the market was opaque enough that you could not see it the way you can in the stock market. you are not betting on a real mortgages, but rather, as the casino version of a mortgage. >> in 2003, bethany mcclane wrote about and ron. sunday night, she will talk about the financial crisis and her new book. >> now, the ceremony at the vietnam veterans memorial on the national mall. speakers include interior secretary can salazar -- kenneth salazar, and the president and founder of the vietnam veterans memorial fund. this is just over one hour.
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>> please stand while the color guard presents the colors and remain standing until the colors are retired.
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>> oh, say can you see by the dawn's early light, what so proudly we hail and at the , whoset's last gleaming broad stripes and bright stars, through the perilous fight, o'er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming, and the clara, the bombs
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bursting in air, i gave proof through the night that our flag was still there. oh, say does that star spangled the landt wave, o'er of the free and the home of the brave. [applause] >> hear, hear. give him a great hand for that. here to lead us in the pledge of allegiance is the official
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briefed bearer -- wreath bearer. at this time, we can all say the pledge of allegiance. >> i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation, under god, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. amen. >> retire the colors.
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>> god bless america. god bless the troops on the battlefield today, and all of our veterans. >> thank you very much. you may be seated. army lieutenant colonel j. johns, a chaplain for the military district of washington will lead us in a prayer at this
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time. >> please join me in prayer. gracious god, in whom we live and move and have our being, we recognize that freedom is not the substance of but rather the context for life lived abundantly and excellently. we give thanks for the freedom that we in this nation enjoy, but which we, because of the business of our lives, are prone to take for granted. today we pause to acknowledge that freedom is not free. we are gathered in places all over our land this veterans day, in cemeteries, at monuments, on battlefields, and here at this wall. we gather to remember, with deep gratitude, those who have given their last measure of full devotion in preservation of our liberty. we remember especially those who served so bravely and sacrificial lee in a faraway land called vietnam's.
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as friends, families, and those who shared foxholes' share their time today, give strength and an abiding sense of your presence to those who are right now in harm's way that they might serve honorably and courageously. make each one of the spirit of the freedom that has been gained for us. common. -- amen. >> thank you. for nearly 30 years in the vietnam veterans memorial fund has been proud to work hand-in- hand with the national park service to ensure that this site, one of the most visited places in washington, continues to offer visitors a very healing and positive experience during their visit. we are partnering with them now to create the education center at the vietnam veterans memorial, which will be built
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across the street. this will work in synergy with the memorial itself to teach visitors about the values of individuals who served in all of america's wars, particularly the vietnam war. we will have the photographs of the casualties in there, and we are now part of a nationwide program -- we have about 12,000, almost 14,000 photographs now of the casualties from vietnam. come to our website, and find out how to submit a photograph. this will be a moving tribute to our veterans. we have enjoyed working with the national park service to make this a reality. in the meantime, we are working on a significant maintenance for our projects right here at the vietnam veterans memorial. in july, we completed a six week
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restoration of the three servicemen statue over there. it cost a lot of money to do that. we had to get the best people available to restore it to get it to look as good as it did when it was new. i want to thank each and every one of you, because we had to get the money from the people, diners, and many of you out there kate -- donors, and many of you out there gave money to help with that. two years ago, this was literally the worst grass on the national mall. i have never seen anything as bad as that. we got to work on it. we pay some contractors. begot the stragglers -- we got to the sprinklers working again. it cost us a lot of money, and again, you will help us raise that. it is greatly appreciated. it is a great honor to work with
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the national park service to take care of the vietnam veterans memorial. they are always here. we gave this memorial to the national park service in 1984 and secretary kenneth salazar was actually going to speak with us today but he got called away on urgent government business. but here to represent the park service is maria burkes, acting superintendent of the national mall memorial parks. she has really done almost everything in her career, including running ellis island and the statue of liberty, of very large, complicated moving parts with outside parts and organizations, and the taxpayers are very lucky to have people like her. at this time, maria, we would like to have you say a few words. [applause]
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>> cut afternoon, everyone. distinguished guests, distinguished speakers, distinguished veterans, ladies and gentlemen, i am here representing secretary salazar. he very much wanted to be here today. not being able to come at the last minute was a real disappointment to him. but it has been a real gift to me. i remember vividly the first time i saw this memorial, and i remembered walking down the wall, looking at the names, thinking about the stories behind those names, the meaning of the fact that they were on the wall. it was transformative for me, and that experience stuck with me until this day. i am delighted to be here with you today, and i would like to recognize those to build the memorial so that we would all have a place to come.
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and i would like to recognize the national park service so that all -- the work so that all have a place to come and remember. there are 58,000 two hundred 67 names of the servicemen and women who died in vietnam and those who remain missing in action from the vietnam war. it is a very special place where everyone can come together to remember and honor those who served and those who are still serving today. the memorial actually consists of four parts, for those of you have not visited the other three parts, there is the wall behind us here, there is the three servicemen statute, the in memory plaque, and very specially today, the vietnam women's memorial. each of these elements is
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different. it'll the special significance. each is a touchstone for many people -- each has a special significance, and each is a touchstone for many people here today. we are probably biased, but we do think that national parks are wonderful places to seek solace and inspiration. many of our parts hold important monuments and memorials that recognize and pay tribute to american veterans, so visiting them can give us all a way to recognize those who served and continue to serve our great nation, and remind all americans of the heritage that we hold in common. for that reason, the national park service is waiving fees today at national parks in honor of our veteran servicemen and service women, and we hope that you will come and see us. i know from the shout out that jan did that there are many veterans in the audience today, some from vietnam, some who serve or are currently serving
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in other conflicts around the globe. as an american, thank you for your selfless service to our country. i stand here in admiration of your sacrifices and your courage. thank you, and may god bless america. [applause] >> well, we always have a lot of very interesting people here, but we have a veteran of world war i -- world war ii, if you could stand up. he was in world war ii and in vietnam with the u.s. chaplain service. if you ever get an opportunity to come to washington to visit the shiloh baptist church, you can hear him say a few words. we also have veterans from the
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valley here. could you stand up for a minute? [applause] that was a big battle in which the north vietnamese wanted to test our military system and our military's ability to respond to their tactics. it was quite a mess. anyway, at this time, i am pleased to introduce to you one of the great military leaders and modern history, a general who served with great distinction in vietnam. he is a graduate of the u.s. military academy at west point. he won more than a few purpleheart. he was very seriously wounded, has a distinguished service cross and every medal you could
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possibly imagine. he was a very active combat leader, a four-star general. he is an msnbc commentator, chairman of the advisory board for the education center at the viet nam veterans memorial, an expert on mexico and many of the nation and world problems. he also serves as an adjunct professor at the military academy at west point. he shares our advisory board at the education center. he helps to develop exhibits across the street for this facility. we are very happy to have been spearheading the project with us along with the national park service, antiand we thank him
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for his leadership. he is going to say a few words. [applause] >> thank you very much to you, peter holt, colin powell and others to have come together to try to build this education center across the street. we have 25 million. the momentum is gathering. we are going to link 58,000 of our fellow soldiers, marines, airmen and sailors. when their birthday comes up, we are going to memorialize them at the education center. the next two years will be very crucial. go on line and give us a hand. let me also take one second to say how proud i am. i was privileged to serve in vietnam in the b company, second
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cabaret -- second calvary. can i ask them all to stand up? thank you for your service. [applause] my purpose is to -- privilege is to introduce but [unintelligible] many of the items left at the wall reflect the service of australian soldiers and airmen. vice marshal now works at the australian embassy here. yes worked at the airport since 1977. his distinguished career
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includes director of the middle east operations center. he directed combat operations over both iraq and afghanistan. he took up his appointment then as head of the australian defence staff here in washington, as the defense attache at the embassy. he is a member of the order of australia. he has been awarded a conspicuous service prong, given for his exceptional service to the royal australian air force throughout his career. at the end of the day, australians and americans have fought together in every conflict since world war i. there and tremendous allies. they have shed their blood with us inraq and afghanistan. thank you for helping me welcome the vice marshal.
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[applause] >> and australian cannot resist responding. thank you very much for that kind introduction. to all of our vietnam veterans and veterans of all wars, ladies and gentlemen, it is a great honor to be up here to talk about australia's contribution over the years. i was quite amused to see how many people had actually come across an australian in vietnam. i think the question most asked was, and who has fought alongside australians in vietnam? i should also asked, who has partied with the australians in vietnam? [laughter] i am it surprised you survived.
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they have just finished their remembrance day back in australia, and i can assure you that there are probably a couple of hangovers occurring right now. they do remember just as fondly the french ships that were made in vietnam. on a bit mart -- the friendships that were made in vietnam. on a bit more serious note, we call a remembrance day for a reason. we first elected to call it armistice day, then amendments day -- then remembrance day. australia in world war i was hit very hard by casualties. about 10% of our population was killed or injured. 3% were killed. that is an incredible decimation of our population that occurred after world war i. if you are wondering why australians are so strong about
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remembrance, that is where it all began. if the same ratio was applied to the u.s. today, four 0.5 million young males would have been killed. it is something we do not take pride in, but we do acknowledge, and we do say that it is the reason we must keep remembering on remembrance day. the and none is a long way away from the u.s. for australia, it is in our backyard. while it appears to be a war at a distance from the u.s., in australia, we were actually fighting for democracy in southeast asia in our region. for us, the war has great meaning that goes well beyond statistics. thank you to all of the vietnam veterans for making democracy the rule of the day in our part of the world. we thank you. [applause] as the general pointed out, we
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had 60 calcined auster -- 60,000 australians fighting with the u.s. forces there. many were with the united states air force or sailing off the coast, giving naval gunfire support. it was a very big deal to us. unfortunately, more than 500 did not come back. the remembrance of those people is part of the reason that it is very important that australia be involved in the vietnam veterans memorial fund and the education center that is being planned. there are a whole bunch of stories out there about veterans that need to be told, about bravery, selflessness, the people they left behind, what they became, and they came home to. australia is keen to keep those
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memories alive. our recently elected government has answered the call and we are intending to donate $3 million to the education center here in the united states. [applause] what we would like is that when the australian veterans come across here, that they can stand side by side again with the veterans from the u.s. and see their pictures of their killed alongside those of the u.s.. ladies and gentlemen, thank you again for allowing an australian along way from, to come up and say a few words. thank you in particular to our veterans. thank you. [applause]
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>> thank you. we appreciate the inspiring words. not long after the memorial was built, australian veterans began coming here from australia. some of them left boomerangs, hats, and things like that. these are the sorts of things we can display in the education center across the street when we build dit. that ian extremely generous contribution and greatly appreciated. at this time i would like to introduce a fellow vietnam veteran, diane carlson eva, whose vision, hard work and determination brought about of the vietnam women's memorial behind you. ladies and gentlemen, diane evans. [applause] >> thank you. may, since air vice marshall kim osley is here, 19
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australian nurses came here in 1993 to stand beside their american sisters who served in vietnam. they were so appreciated and so welcomed, and we went to the australian embassy, and the warrant, love, care and concern that was there because we, the a number nurses, cared for the australians. i was stationed at 36 evacuation hospital on the south china sea, and i do not in the australians realized that there would be so many injured and wounded, the overflow. so we got these australian soldiers into our hospital, and one word out of their mouth and we knew where they were from. i do not care how sick they
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were, how wounded, or how much morphine they had, they had a sense of humor and they wanted a cold beer. [laughter] and they wanted everyone of us american nurses to go down to the beach and party with them when they got out of the hospital. [laughter] [applause] go australia. they were wonderful young men, and i attended the 1994 dedication of their vietnam memorial, which is really powerful, profound, and beautiful. i found the name barbara black, their only nurse who died as a result of the water, her name is on the wall at their memorial, at in -- who died as a result of her name is on the wall at their memorial, etched
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in the bronze. we try to remember each of these generations, wartime and peacetime, and comprehend their achievements and appreciate the enormity of their contributions to our country. the vietnam generation leaves a memorial as a testament to the american spirit. this memorial galvanized the nation to honor those momentous sacrific, hours of hard ship, days of courage and years of service, of men and women no different tha the millions before them or after them, or today. the vietnam women's memorial leaves its legacy on women's veteran stories now being written into american consciousness.
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these stories shine a light on the names etched here, and on the thousands of those who survived. they provide a glimpse into the historical experience all too often eclipsed from american memories. "i care for each as though my brother, no time to cry, must attend to another and another. time has passed and i still recall your courage, your struggle and your fault. rest in peace, now war is done, how brief in life like the setting sun. " today, i am honored to introduce one of the veterans that the vietnam women's memorial represents, a woman who joined
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the army as a student nurse in 1969 and his brother's life -- whose brother's life was as brief as the setting sun. been killed in vietnam in 1966. three years later, she received her orders to study nursing at walter reed army medical center. graduating in 1973, at which time she was commissioned into the army nurse corps, she went on to serve for 23 years. currently an employee of the health care accreditation organization, she is dedicated to the quality care and safety of patients, just as she had been in her career as an army nurse. today she lives in montana and works for the joint commission as a nurse a surveyor. please welcome a lieutenant colonel connie schulz.
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[applause] >> general, there is one group of people i need to recognize. my brother was a member of the 173 airborne brigade. they are having their reunion. i would like all of the 173 to please rise so we can recognize them. where are you? [laughter] [applause]
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i want to thank diane for giving me this opportunity as soon as i get my notes back. >> you might have to wing it. >> to share this very significant tribute to our veterans. march 16, 1966, changed my life forever. it was on that day my family was notified of the death of my brother, kenneth, who was a member of the 173 airborne. he was killed in action and subsequently awarded the silver star for her wisdom. it has been just over three weeks that he had said goodbye to us. he was off to war. he left for work just days after the burial of a young marine friend, who eventually became my brother-in-law. it was my husband's brother, as he gave his life for his country.
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on march 16, 1966, my mother became a gold star mother with max's death. at 91, which had been to be here today, one more time, to honor her son. she sends her blessings but did not feel she was up to the trip. i wish to dedicate this moment in time to her. as unprepared for this day, i found myself reflecting on macs and banned. their lives, and how they're deaths -- their deaths impacted my life and my decision to serve in the military. as a high-school student, i was determined to serve. my dream was to be a nurse. why not be a nurse in the army, or the military? on september 9, 1969, i made that commitment to serve as i am listed in the army as a select the to attend an army nursing program, the walter reed army
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institute of nursing. my role model at that time became the army nurses who had served in vietnam and now were teaching me how to become one of them. i graduated from nursing school in june of 1973, at which time i was commissioned in the army nurse corps. it was too late. i never got the chance to serve in that war, four in january of 1973, the cease-fire agreement was signed. as a student at walter reed army medical center, and as an army nurse at subsequent tours, i did serve those who had been to war, witnessing the heart, emotionally and physically, seen on those veterans who returned home. as an army nurse, i have dedicated my career to the model to preserve the fighting strength. a career as an army nurse was
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spent training for war, but most importantly, working to keep the fighting strength helped the. -- healthy. alongside those nurses who had served in vietnam, i cared for those who not only were serving, but those who had served in war, and those who serve in support of those who went to war. being a veteran is not only about dying for our country, or serving in a war-porn -- war- torn land. it is not where we serve, but how. there will always be measures of time significant to military events that we celebrate as veterans. the vietnam war, the cold war, the gulf war, iraq and afghanistan. the vietnam era is very significant to the vietnam women's memorial, for it honors all the women who served their
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country during the vietnam war. i stand here today representing the a non-para -- the vietnam era veterans, and most importantly a female vietnam era veteran. i was one of 265,000 women who served during the is no more. i stand here to honor all of the 1.8 million women who have served their country, and those that continue to serve. women comprise approximately 20% of today's military, active-duty and reserve, and will eventually join the roles of u.s. military veterans. -- it is different than when i joined the army. roles and responsibilities have opened up to embrace the capabilities of women who serve. the vietnam women's memorial is an example of the significance
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of monuments and memorials that we see today. it is there not only to honor and remember, but also to educate our future generations, and continue to be an inspiration to many women serving today. the vietnam memorial, which the vietnam women's memorial is a part, speaks not only for the dead, but also for the living, and all of those who served during the turbulent times. for my husband and i, our military service is in a sense a memorial. joining the service in memory of our brothers, who did give the ultimate sacrifice during the vietnam war. our memories of them, and our conviction to serve our country, honorably carried a strew our military service. i stand here today to honor all who have served and continue to serve as we again are involved
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in a war bigger than the fee and no more. during my travels this past year, we have had the honor to see medical care of the veterans first hand through vat -- through visits to veterans' hospitals, army, navy, and air force hospitals. i have had the honor to visit with and shake the hands of those who have served in some capacity. it never fails to bring a tear or a lump in my throat as i see the pride of these veterans to say to me we were just doing our job. the all carry on our daily lives, rarely hesitated to consider what it means to be a veteran. it is an honorable title that we carry each and every day. it is a title to be celebrated, and a role that begs us to embrace all the new veterans. today is a day of celebration of the veteran, a day to recognize
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and be recognized. for those of you in attendance today that are not veterans, please take a moment to reflect on what veterans mean to you. never missed a chance to think a veteran. i will ask you to please stand and except my salute for your service to our nation. would you please stand? thank you, good luck, and godspeed. [applause] >> thank you for those inspiring words. greatly appreciated. we also have noted that we have some people here on active duty. so we would like for them to waive so we can point them out to everyone. people from the department of defense. [applause]
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we also have some military veterans from iraq and afghanistan, if you could stand up here. [applause] you are always welcome here. i am very much -- it is the iraq and afghanistan veterans group, from time to time, and ultimately when the time is right for their memorial, i will be one of their advisers, i am sure. i want to thank the many people who are part of today -- organizations, sons and daughters, the american legion, disabled american veterans, winners of the purple heart, paralyzed veterans. vfw, the non-veterans of america, joining us, as well as the museum -- vietnameterans
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of america, and joining us, as well as the museum, items that have been left at the memorial. three times as many items have been left at the memorial as there are names at the memorial. it is a sociological phenomenon. this'll be part of the educational center across the street. we also want to thank the members of our corporate counsel. there is a new member of our board of directors who is joining us today, as well as our board members including george mayo and john woods. welcome to the students of the eagle academy of egg harbor township who are here with us today. where are you all?
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high-school? middle school? thank you for coming. we want to thank the restaurant advisory board for the horizon corporation. they have passed -- we want to thank the advisory board for the verizon corporation. they have passed up flags. karen o'brien is a great singer and a wonderful entertainment -- wonderful entertainer who was able to carve some time out of her busy schedule. she is going to sing for us. [applause] >> ♪ oh beautiful for spacious skies for amber waves of grain
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for purple mountain majesties above the fruited plain america, america god shed his grace on thee good withthey brotherhood from sea to shining sea ♪ ♪ oh beautiful for patient dreams that sees beyond the years
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thine alabaster cities gleam undimmed by human fears america, america god shed his grace on thee and crown thy good with brotherood from sea to shining sea ♪ sing with me. ♪ oh beautiful for spacious skies for amber waves of grain
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for purple mountains' majesty above the fruited plain america, america god shed his grace on thee withrown they good brotherhood from sea to shining sea ♪ [applause]
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>> that was quite impressive, i must say. peter holt was going to be here to introduce our next speaker. he is a very dynamic vietnam veteran. but he could not make it. he got tied up in business. instead of peter, we are going to have the chairman of the board of the vietnam veterans memorial, from the board of directors. he is going to do the direction. jan served with the navy in vietnam and now passes a law in washington, d.c. they are not on the endangered list. washington attorneys are all over the place. he is one of the better ones.
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[applause] >> thank you. michael heisley was born in washington and grew up in alexandria, just across the river. he got a bachelor's degree from georgetown university, where he subsequently served on the board of directors at regent's for seven years. in 1979, he founded a company based in chicago. he owns and operates approximately 40 businesses worldwide within a diverse set ups industries. he serves as chief executive officer of several of the company's subsidiaries. he also is the majority owner of the nba memphis grizzlies. he serves on the board of
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directors of his family foundation, which has pledged $2.50 million to the education center at the wall. [applause] he has been deeply touched by the vietnam war. he and his wife agnes have also devoted their personal time and resources to honoring the members of the veterans community. we are grateful to have him with us today. [applause] >> thank you. this is a very special day. it gives me a chance to do something i have wanted to do for many, many years, and that is to think the veterans personally for everything you
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have done for me, my family, my friends, and everyone i know. you haveept a safe, you have kept us free, and you have kept as with the benefits we get from this wonderful country. today is a very special day set aside to honor a very special group of people. only a small percentagef our nation's citizens served in the armed foes. they protect the freedoms that we all enjoy. on this day, we turn our attention to the selfless individuals in saying thank you. it takes an exceptional kind of person to serve in the armed forces. as a service member, u must put your own needs second to those of your country. you must display courage and honor in situations fraught with danger. you must stand as an example of what is best in the united states for people around the
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world. and you must always do what is right, even when also what is right is very, very dangerous. noeveryone is cut out for this life, but we allenefit from the efforts of those extraordinary individuals who willingly put on the uniform of the united states army, navy, air force, marines, and coast guard. to all of them, past and present, i send out my heartfelt thanks. i cannot think about american service members without thinking of my good friend rocky versace. we were boys together growing up near alexandria, virginia. although our lives to of diverse paths, we remained very close through the years. we met when we could and wrote
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when we were apart. rocky went to west point and then served in korea and two terms of duty in vietnam. on the last night of his leave before his second term in vietnam, he dined with me and my wife in our small home in alexandria, virginia. at dinner, we talked about the future, our hopes and dreams. he told us that after the tour was over he was planning to leave the service. he wanted to become a priest and stay in vietnam to work at an orphanage that he had helped build and support while he was in that war-torn country. he deeply felt and loved the children of vietnam, and he wanted to assist them. and i gave him my solemn promise to help him in that job and in that dream. but i never saw him again.
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months later, we learned on the tv news that rocky had been wounded and captured. over the next several years, agnes and i prayed for his release. occasionally, we heard vague reports that the vietcong were marching him from village to village for propaganda purposes, but our worst fears were realized when we learned he had been executed on september 26, 1965. i think i always knew it would and the way for rocky. when we learned of his captor, i told my wife, "i fear we will never see rocky again." rocky has a spirit that does not compromise. he will not bend, nor will he break. there will just have to kill him. later, we heard stories from the man he had been with in
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captivity, about rocky and his courage, his optimism and his -- the inability of the vietcong to break him. he was the commanding officer, or the ranking officer. and he was the man that was subject to a lot of the torture and mistreatment to try to break him in front of his men. the last time he was put into solitary confinement, finally put in this bamboo cage slightly bigger than himself and left away from his man, never to see him again. when the were walking out, being moved to another location, coming through the trees were the sounds of a man singing "god bless america." that example served as an inspiration to those men in
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captivity with him. i mourn my friend to this day. i also celebrate all the things about him that made him special. his belief in god was strong. his love of america and his commitment to west point's code of duty, honor, and country give him the strength to face the horrors of captor with bravery and colorado. today, when i think about all the best of our men and women in uniform, i think of rocky. i think of how willingly he put aside his own needs to serve his country. i think of his loyalty to others, his courage, his integrity. and i think of his dedication to duty, and his deep sense of honor. i know that these volumes are replicated in the veterans and the servicemen around the globe, and i am proud of every single one of you. today, you may have heard about
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the education center being built across the street, near the lincoln memorial, to honor all the -- all those who serve and tell the stories of those who did not come back from vietnam. we can learn so much from the stories of these extraordinary people. in addition to the tens of bravery and owner, we can learn about the person is behind the uniform. my friend rocky was an army captain, a prisoner of war, a medal of honor recipient. but he was more than that. he was a boyhood friend. he was a gentle soul who love children. he was a big brother who helped raise his siblings. seeing his name on the granite wall behind me or reading his medal of honor citation leaves me with pride for my friends achievement, but there is more to the story. in the educational center, we can give visitors a chance and a
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glimpse of the promise that went unfulfilled in the lives of all those individuals who did not come home from the war. today, as a lookout on the cro and see so many of you who served in iraq and afghanistan, the gulf war and vietnam, in correa and world war -- in korea and world war ii. in every generation, there have been those who put on the uniform, served their country, and came home to make america a better place. it is a huge debt to repay. to our men and women in uniform, please know that today and every day we are aware of what you do for our country. we know that there are personal costs. we know that the blessings we enjoy are safeguarded by your unselfish and tireless efforts. and we may say to you think you.
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thank you. thank you. [applause] i want to point out that the person he was talking about was also a graduate of the u.s. military academy, and we have some distinguished at the -- some distinguished graduates with us here today, including general mike conrad. general conrad brought with us -- to us, rather, the color borne andm the 82nd air boar the first cavalry division. let us give a big hand to the color guard. [applause] one of our closest advisers,
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bill murty, is here today, the ceo of a major corporation. at this time, we will begin wreath laying. while the wreaths are placed at the wall, a bagpiper chris jackson will perform "amazing grace." the name of his father in what is in grave on panel 25 -- is engraved on panel 25e of the wall. once these are placed at the memorial, we will be able to listen to "taps."
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[bagpipe playing "amazing grace"] >> department of the interior. national park service. vietnam veterans' memorial fund. it nom women's memorial foundation. the american gold star mhers are coming down, followed by the gold star wives of america. sons and daughters in touch as well are starting to walk right now. they are followed by on the other side the 82nd airborne division. take a look at some ofhese wreaths if you can see them. they are neat. the first cavalry division is the yellow. that is the patch on their uniform. the american legion is here. amvets as well.
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disabled american veterans. military order of the purple heart. they have everything that looks like a purple heart. paralyzed veterans of america. vfw of the united states. veterans of foreign wars have given us a million dollars for the education center at the vietnam veterans memorial. the vietnam veterans of america are here. we will get it done eventually. we also have the fourth infantry division. searchlights. the caisson veterans are here today, lining up. it is a beautiful photograph. what i will do after the ceremony -- i will get these guys to stand in place for you who would like to take a photograph. it is a nice sort of thing to
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take home. the 199 flight infantry brigade is here. i was with them when wounded many many years ago. military veterans motorcycle club is here. we want to thank them and harley-davidson for these are the guys who flyoff from arizona to be with uds once a yer. they are moving forward. the 27th infantry wolfhounds are moving into position as we speak. the ninth infantry division is here. whenever miss an opportunity
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like this to have a great read. these have been placed at the memorial. please, stand for the playing of 'taps.' ♪ ♪
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["taps" playing] well, you can remain sitted if you like and millaround until the honorguard has moved from the walkway. a lot of you with cellphones like to take a big shot. there is a nice picture. you can send it home. the conditions are perfect. that convluces -- conclude today's ceremony.
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thank you for coming. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2010] >> coming up next, more veteran day services sped them next, today's ceremony at the world war ii ceremony.
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it is a look at the key 20 summit in south and national transportation safety board it is live beginning at 7:00 a.m. it is with the first live ones. they discuss the personal life from the stage. >> as the country marked veterans day, the winmen and won
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who served in the military. they are all searchable and of free on new computer a. now the servants from the national world war ii monument in washington. speakers include the director of the national park service, chairman of the national world war two memorial, and keynote speaker from the u.s. army material commander. -- shia some serious loans. ladies and gentlemen, let's give a warm welcome to kimberly b.
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it is my pleasure to be your mistress of ceremonies today i'm here to honor all the veterans who had served in the armed forces of the united states of america, especially those who fought in world war two to keep our nation free and set an example for all the generations to come. if you please join me by standing to welcome the official party for today's commemoration. first, the commander of the night it states army and the first woman four-star general.
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next, led the united states army retired in chairman of the friends of the national world war ii memorial. mr. john jarvis. we would also like to recognize john and the maritime administrator. mcveigh will be presenting a brief -- wreath.
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please remain standing for the presentation of the colors.
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-- [playing "the star spangled banner."]
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>> let's all pray together.
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the nation in did the board to end all wars. the women who served, who worked alongside the combat forces, members of the greatest generation. we thank them for the service they gave to our nation. they worked countless hours with members of our armed services. they too favor upon us who are gathered here this day. may continue to bless all of our veterans. we ask them pray in your holy name, amen.
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>> please, be seated. >> good morning. this monument commemorates those the certification in the great is armed conflict the world has ever known. it represents a rescinds not as the dollar demonstrate it, but a generation that was borne by the heart of the great depression.
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they were handed their responsibility to indoor more. many of them were women. women veterans of world war two, we are honored to have you with us. the served with bravery, character, who did this sometimes on glamorous had an absolutely crucial work to keep the war effort going. the national parks is privileged to host this event in your honor. it is fitting that the keynote speaker is the first four-star general in the military.
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the director of the center is another in a long line of accomplished military women, and inspiration to others and a testament to those in the armed forces. and the chairman of the international world war two memorial, the only cosponsor of today's event and worked with the national park service to ensure that this memorial and these services are held as both intended. and the defining events of the twentieth century. use the have traveled here today to honor us with your presence, not just the women veterans of world war two, but the women that punched in, did without, and went unrecognized
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and carried the load on the home front until the contest was settled. we are gathered here today to recognize all of you, and especially those women that made the ultimate sacrifice. let us pause for a moment of silence to remember them. thank you, welcome, and may god bless all of us. [applause] >> ladies and gentlemen, we will hear remarks from the chairman of the board of the national world war two memorial. youe just can't thank
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enough to be with us on this very special day. you are the ideal person for our keynote speaker. a special welcome to all of our distinguished guests. we have so many guests that come to help. ladies and gentlemen, especially our honored guest today, the world war two veterans and especially the women who served in world war two. [applause] >> today, we remember all
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veterans in all of our wars and also, we want to remember those who are serving in active duty today. and the heroes that came to see the memorial, some of them for the very first time. you make this very special by flying in this morning and being with us. [applause] we also have another special group of heroes with us. we have women that served in world war two that live in the armed services retirement, here in washington. we think that group for being
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here with us this morning as well. [applause] think you'll for coming and taking part in this various federal -- very special veterans day ceremony. as we all know, all across america, people are gathering to pay tribute to our veterans and the men and women that are serving in our armed forces today. we pause to remember and honor the contributions of all veterans who have always answered our nation's call to duty. we should remember every day the gift of our veterans, the gift that they gave us. and that is a strong, free, and beautiful america that we are privileged to call home. and we owe them a debt that we can never repay. on this veterans day, at this very special place, we have chosen to remember the women who served in world war two.
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women have always played a critical in securing our independence and defending our freedom. women have served our nation in peace and war since the war of independence and the beginning of this nation. they are among our nation's greatest heroes. women volunteered in large numbers to serve in the armed forces, and that was not easy in those days. and they volunteered to serve on the home front, in the factories, the defense plants. they piloted aircraft, and especially, they kept the home fires burn here at home. and they burned brightly as they ran the homes, the farms, the business, took care of the children who took care -- our speaker today has built her
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career on the legacy of those great heroes who we honor at the ceremony. as you already heard, the general and as our nation's first four-star female general. her career has been built on nothing but very tough and demanding jobs, one after the other. her current assignment is one of the most challenging command jobs that we have in the army, is challenging and peacetime, and is even more so in wartime. i have served in that command. i am extremely proud of her and all of her accomplishments. she symbolizes to we honor today, the great women that served our nation and especially in world war two. it is a privilege to serve on
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the board. this is a nonprofit organization that works very closely and very proudly with the nation's park service, and also with the military district of washington to plan the events like this one to assist in sharing the sacred memorial with our world war two veterans enhance your families. we also want to share this with all america to and want to make sure that we remember the lessons in the history of the great war. most of the founders of this organization are former members of the american battle monuments commission. they served on the memorial site in design selection committee. and they literally put their heart and soul in making this memorial a reality for the world war two veterans, and they fought extremely hard to put it on this piece of sacred ground.
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behind me, 4048 gold stars on the freedom wall. each one of these stars represents 100 fallen u.s. service members. those who never returned home to their families. to the gold star mothers, the goldstar father, the goldstar spouses, the goldstar children, and the goldstar families that no better than most of the price of freedom. america's greatest heroes are resting under the head stunts at arlington national cemetery, and other cemetery is located near battlefields all around the world and all across this nation, this world war two memorial enshrines the memory of all who serve in that war.
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these gold stars remind us that they gave all of their tomorrows for our freedom. and we should remember that freedom comes at a very high price, and will never be free. the greatest generation who fought the most destructive war in history. approximately 60 million people lost their lives all over the world.
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mostly those that were overrun by the war. millions were murdered in concentration camps, death camps, and prisoner of war camps. the greatest generation overcame great odds. there was no certainty that we would win that war. and they not only save this nation, but this generation literally save the world. as we reflect on their sacrifice, let us remember the unity that this monument represents, and the spirit of america that shone so brightly in a dark world on the days of world war two. this memorial will help us ensure that that spirit continues to burn brightly, lighting the path for our children and our grandchildren. they will be the leaders of the land of the free and the home of the brave. god bless all of our world war two veterans, all of our veterans, and all of our service members today and their families. god bless america, and thank you so much for helping us remember, honor, and thank our veterans. [applause]
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>> ladies and gentlemen, we are very grateful to have with us some members of the united states air force brass quintet that will perform a musical salute to our veterans. ♪
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[applause] ladies and gentlemen, is my pleasure to introduce the director for center of women veterans, the department of veterans affairs. [applause]
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>> i want to introduce the general. she is first and foremost a crowd of soldiers that has served our nation with great distinction for 35 years. she is currently the commanding general of the u.s. army materiel command, one of the largest commands and the army. with more than 70,000 soldiers impacting 49 states and 144 countries around the world. since her first assignment in 1976, as a platoon leader, she has commanded at every level.
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during the persian gulf war, she was the division parachute officer. later, she was the first woman to command a battalion in the eighty second airborne division. as commander in distribution command, from 2002-2004, she guided the largest deployment of the u.s. forces since world war two in support of operation iraqi freedom. she is the first woman in the u.s. military to achieve the rank of a four-star general. ladies and gentlemen, i would
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like to introduce our speaker for today. [applause] >> midmorning. what an honor it is for me to be here with you today. i am so grateful that we live in a country that takes time to pause and reflect and pay tribute to our veterans. because it is our veterans that have always given us and continue to give us the gift of freedom. how while veterans day is only formally recognized once a year, we must never forget how blessed we are to live in freedom every single day. now for me. this place, this day holds a


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