tv Veterans Day Ceremony at Arlington Cemetery CSPAN November 11, 2018 9:08pm-9:47pm EST
national commander, american gi. [applause] major general michael l. howard, commanding general of the joint forces headquarters national capital region in the united states army military district of washington. [applause] karen durham aguilera executive director, arlington national cemetery. [applause] ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ >> ladies and gentlemen, the honorable robert l. wilkie jr. secretary of veterans affairs. ♪
>> please remain standing for the prayer for all veterans delivered by chaplain michael mccoy, director va chaplain service. >> eternal god, you alone rule the destinies of nations. we come this veterans day to invoke your presence in this sacred garden on this 100th anniversary of the ending of world war i. we realize that it is only through your hand that our country has remained free by your gift and dedication of your nation's veterans.
thanks be to you oh lord for those whose lives paid for freedoms we now as a nation enjoy. we pray their examples influence our daily actions in relation to others, they we will have respect to them but we can make decisions that will lead to the peace for all people may your divine grace be upon those not to return home and upon your families, who guide and direct an understanding of our duties to the country to one another. encourage and bring healing to those who are suffering from both visible and invisible wounds of war. god, we ask that you bless our
nation's veterans and their families. protect all who wear our nation's uniform today. may we always hold them in our love and our prayers until your world is perfected in peace, oh, god, remove evil acts of violence from our land. god bless america. god give us all a joyous spirit as we celebrate our nation's veterans on this day, keep us ever faithful to thee and to human dignity, in your name we pray, amen. invite national commander of the american gi forum of the united states to lead us in our pledge
of allegiance. >> place your hand over your heart, please. >> 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. thank you. please be seated. it is now my distinct privilege it is now my distinct privilege to introduce you to the members of the veterans day national committee. the committee was formed by presidential order in 1954 to plan this annual observance in honor of america's veterans to support veterans day observances through the nation. please hold your applause until
i have introduced the special guests. if you are able, please stand when your name is called. lawrence romo, national commander, american gi forum. frank kowalski, national commander, war veterans of the usa. joe parker, national president blind veterans association. dr. barry j. snyder, national commander, jewish war veterans of the usa. william c. meeks jr., national secretary vietnam veterans of america, bj lawrence, commander and chief, veterans of foreign wars of the united states. robert washington sr., national president fleet reserve association.
rich riley, national commander, american veterans and vets. sydney mcmahon, national commander, army and navy union usa incorporated. john ostrowski, executive director noncommissioned officer's association. brett p, national commander of the american legend. douglas greenlaw, national commander, military order of the purple heart. wendell webb, national commandant, marine corps league, william d., executive director military chaplains association. david zurfluh, national president, paralyzed veterans of america. george malone, senior vice commander, legend of valor of the usa. john h. hollywood, commander and chief military order of the world wars.
phillip kalinski, national president and retired and enlisted association. dennis nixon, national commander, disabled american veterans. dana atkins, president president military president's association. heather break, board chair, commissioned officers association of the united states public health service. michael r., carton, president and air force sergeant's association. robert swan, national commander polish legend of american veterans usa. dr. paul cunningham national president korean war veterans association. the associate members of the veterans day national committee are located in the boxes to my left, i would like to ask the presidents and national commanders that comprise our associate membership to stand and be recognized. ladies and gentlemen, please join me in recognizing our veterans national leadership with your applause. [applause]
>> it is now my pleasure to introduce miss karen durham aguilera, executive director, army national military cemeteries and arlington national cemetery. [applause] >> leader pelosi, secretary defense mattis, secretary of vetrans affairs wilkie, secretary of the air force, wilson, major general, families of the fallen, visitors from across the world and all of you, good morning. welcome to arlington national cemetery. of the fallen, visitors from what a glorious day. it is fitting that we are in in the center of this most hollowed ground, a special welcome to mr. larry romo of the american
government forum for being the host for our national veterans day observance. today, as we celebrate the 100th anniversary, of the world war i in 1918 how fortunate we all are to be gathered together today to pay tribute to this amazing anniversary. just a short walk from here, i invite to you visit sections 16, 18, 19 or visit the welcome center where we memorialize the world war i veterans and the families who are laid to rest here at arlington national cemetery. their stories honor the legacy that tell the history of our country through the sacrifice of our citizens that served our nation and its time of need and guaranteed our freedom and our liberty. today, as for the past 154 years, arlington national cemetery is honored to serve veterans and our families of our nation. on behalf of myself, our superintendent, miss kate kelly
and our dedicated men and women that serve here, it is my privilege to welcome you today. we are a great people honoring service and sacrifice to grateful nation. again, thank you and welcome to arlington national cemetery. [applause] >> it is now pleasure to introduce you to the host for 2018. mr. lawrence romo, national commander of the american gi forum of the united states. lawrence t. romo, a graduate from the united states air force academy in northern montana college, served 28 years in the air force, he was later nominated by president obama as the united states selective service director, a senate confirmed presidential reporting to the president. commander romo was elected as the national commander of the
american gi forum of the u.s. in july 2018 and leads congressional charter veterans service organization advocating for veterans, equal right and educational access. ladies and gentlemen, please welcome mr. lawrence romo. [applause] >> thank you, secretary wilkie, distinguished guests, my fellow veterans and families, good morning. happy veterans day. it is truly, indeed, my honor to represent the american gi forum as the national commander and this sacred resting place, arlington national cemetery and the heros, our fallen brothers and sister veterans. the american gi forum is chartered veterans service organization and our active duty military, representing active duty military and families, veterans, advocacy for equal, civil right and access to earned benefit, medical care and access to good education.
today he is the 100th anniversary of the end of world war i. let's remember the sacrifice of these, those veterans who fought in the war to end all wars. let us not forget the 400 thousand men and women whose final resting place is here on these hollowed grounds. let us recognize the over 20 million veterans that live among us today. let us reflect on the fact that only 1% of the country serves in our military. let us remember that their service provides the very freedom that everyone in this great country enjoyed daily without notice. my fellow veterans, we, the american gi forum, stand with you and we salute you. i encourage each and everyone of you to continue to work together to ensure our military veterans and military are always taken care of and heard.
i urge each of you, our active military, our elected and appointed he official as to work in a bipartisan manner to be ethical, transparent and accountable. to be a positive example to emulate for the greater good of the great nation to be a global leader for democracy and peace. may god bless our military, our veterans and our military families, our citizens and may god bless the united states of america. now, it gives me great pleasure to introduce the tenth secretary of veteran affairs, the honorable robert wilkie. mr. wilkie was confirmed on july 23, 2018 and sworn in on july 30th, 2018. after already serving as the va's active secretary, mr. wilkie was the secretary of defense for person personnel and readiness. the principal adviser to the
secretary and deputy secretary of defense on total force management. he has over 20 years of experience at the national international levels as under secretary of defense. mr. wilkie served james mattis as secretary of defense, he has served donald rumsfeld and before that, he was special assistant to the president for national security affairs and senior director of the national security council for five years, he was vice president for programs for ch2m hill one of the largest engineering and program management firms in the world. he is officer of the united states air force reserve and previously served in the navy reserve and joint forces intelligence command and special warfare group two and the cities of naval intelligence. among this, mr. wilkie is recipient of the public service medal. the highest noncareer award for that department.
ladies and gentlemen, va secretary mr. robert wilkie. [applause] >> thank you, colonel, to my colleagues in the cabinet, to my friends, elizabeth dole, to leader pelosi, to the veterans represented here on both active and retired status, it is my pleasure on behalf of the president of the u.s. to welcome you to arlington. i have had the privilege in my life of seeing this military world from many angles, as a dependent, as the son of a wounded combat soldier, as an officer, and as a leader in the
pentagon. i have spent a lifetime watching those who have worn the battles and i have sign the through the eyes of my elementary school classmates in ft. bragg whose fathers did not come back from vietnam. it may seem a little strange that someone with my background, i am constantly contemplating the meaning of service and what it means to be a veteran. i think general eisenhower had it about right. a few months after he was inaugurated, he gathered 40 korean war soldiers on the president yacht of williamsburg. some were horribly disfigured. others were missing limbs. you live to remind your fellow citizens why they sleep soundly at night. this day reminds all americans that they sleep soundly at night
because of the sacrifices of millions of ordinary men and women. today marks the 100th anniversary of the sadly named "war to end all wars." on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, men who lived and fought in trenches that scarred the face of europe emerged after four years of fighting and for the first time, smelled the warm air of peace. 100 years ago, my great-grandfather left a small town law practice in the mississippi delta and the part-time law job at ole miss to join up with the army assembly at camp gordon, georgia. across from him was an infantry outfit. on its rolls was a reluctant soldier from tennessee. he would go on to become the greatest american hero of the war. in another part of georgia was my wife's grandfather, a
teenager, and in his short life, he had never ventured beyond two or three counties in north and south carolina. by the time he was 18, he was marching up the champs elysee into the bloody cauldron of the argonne. william johnson was also there. members of the legendary 369th infantry regiment from new york. their regiment spent 191 days on the front line. more than any other american regiment. they suffered 1500 casualties, more than any unit in the american force. their fighting was so ferocious that the kaiser himself gave the nickname "the harlem hellfighters." over 100 soldiers from 369 were -- ded the quality care guerre and no regiment received
more recommendations and honors than it did. at the marne, a soldier who was a barber in peace time volunteered as a messenger to deliver an important order to another unit. just as he reached his destination, he was killed in a hail of german fire. a diary later found on his bloodstained blouse contained this passage. "america must win the war. therefore, i will work and save and sacrifice, i will endure, as -- i will fight cheerfully and do my utmost as if the whole issue of the struggle depended on me alone. a marine who had already earned two medals of honor, decided at the age of 44 that the corps had not had enough of him. he volunteered for france and he won three more combat medals. he crawled out under heavy enemy fire and rescued a half dozen wounded marines who were pinned down. then he single-handedly captured
13 german soldiers. then he took out a heavily fortified german machine gun nest with nothing more than a handful of grenades and a colt 45. shortly after that, a brigade of marines became pinned under heavy german artillery fire. suddenly, the lone figure jumped up onto the earthworks, clutched his rifle, and charged. the men of the brigade saw the act of bravery, went over the top and overwhelmed the german positions. on the 26th of june of 1918, colonel george marshall handed general pershing the following telegram. woods now entirely u.s. marine corps'. earlier this year, the president of the french republic presented to president trump a sapling, to be placed on the white house grounds.
from a place renamed by a grateful ally. the wood of brigade of marines. finally, there was a less celebrated warrior. a nearsighted farmer from jackson county, missouri, who cheated and lied to get into the field artillery because he could not stand the thought of his friends and neighbors going to war and he not being there to support them. he would go on to become one of the greatest presidents in our history. so there they are. captain abrams summerville, my great-grandfather. sergeant alvin york, private bullard, my wife's grandfather. private johnson. private martin. sergeant dan daly, and captain harry s truman. they are the testament to the ordinary citizens who performed extraordinary deeds in defense of this republic, from lexington
to afghanistan. all told, more than 41 million american men and women have served during times of war and almost 700,000 have given the last full measure. and if you ask any of them why they did it, they would tell you it was the right thing to do. this day is for them. it is for those who have served in all the lonely outposts in the military, at home, distant lands, who left families and loved ones and who overcame challenges that many of us would find unimaginable. when the towering figure of 20th century american literature, william faulkner, accepted the nobel prize for literature, he was ostensibly speaking to novelists and journalists, but i believe he was speaking to the heart of the soldier that he longed to be during the great
war. he spoke of, and i quote, "a life's work spent in the agony and sweat of human spirit, not for glory, but to make out of the material of the human spirit something which was not there before. he must teach himself, that the basest of all things is to be afraid, and teaching himself that, forget it forever, leaving no room for anything but the old truths of the heart, the old universal truths lacking which any story is doomed. and they are love and honor, pride and compassion, and sacrifice. until he relearns those things, he will write as though he stood and watched the end of man. but no matter what the soldier sees and no matter how terrible, it is he who declines to accept
the end of man. it is the soldier who endures. i will leave you with the prayer of general matthew, who tossed restlessly in his cot on the evening of june 6, 1944, as the 82nd airborne division and the 101st airborne division prepared to launch the liberation of europe. the great man asked for the prayer that god gave to joshua. "i will not fail thee, nor forsake thee." in may 1986, as ronald reagan awarded general ridgway the presidential medal of freedom, he said of him, heroes come when they are needed. great men step forward when courage seems in short supply. this day is about great men and women whom we can never forsake. may god bless you, god bless all who have served this great republic.
national veterans day observance. please be seated for the departure for the secretary of veterans affairs and the official party. thank you for joining us today as we celebrate and honor all who served. [applause] >> the british parliament was in recess this week. prime minister's questions returns live wednesday at 7:00 a.m. eastern on c-span two. or watching a sunday night here on c-span. andcan go to c-span.org find video of past prime minister's questions and other british public affairs programs. >> c-span's washington journal,
live every day with news and policy issues that impact you. monday morning, the hill's congressional reporter and rollcall's white house reporter discussed the week ahead. then the government accountability office will talk about medicaid expansion. be sure to watch c-span's "washington journal." join the discussion. >> monday night on the communicators, verizon's senior vice president and chief network officer on verizon's push to implement 5g. she is interviewed by an axios technology reporter. >> what is different about 5g? 5g gives us new currency on which to develop services. what i mean by that is 5g networks give us massive speed and bandwidth.
average 4geed on networks and about 1000 times the bandwidth because the way we are deploying it, and clayton knows, we are calling this ultra broadband has we are using spectrum in the millimeterwave range. there is a lot of it. when you have a lot of spectrum, what that translates to his speed. announcer: watch the communicators monday night at 8:00 eastern on c-span two. now, president trump delivers remarks at the suresnes american cemetery in paris' western suburbs to commemorate soldiers who died in will were one. to president was in france commemorate armistice day and the end of world war i. this is 25 minutes. ♪