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-- -- -- for your extraordinary service to our country and your tireless commitment to our veterans.
Of defense we have -- up.
Chairman Dempsey and -- Dempsey.
To our wonderful.
Veterans service organizations for the extraordinary work that you do for -- nation's heroes.
All who tend to handle watch over.
This sacred cemetery.
The -- at all.
To every active duty member.
Guardsmen reservists and veterans.
Of the United States armed forces.
There are many.
And responsibilities that come what this job.
Are more humbling than serving.
As your commander -- I'm proud to be with so many of you here today.
Where our heroes come arrest.
We come to show our gratitude.
Few moments ago.
I way to read it to pay tribute.
Who have given their lives to our country.
Real goal this is the day we rightly honor.
We gather today and solemn respect.
Mindful that we are -- here.
Mindful that we share this hallowed space where it.
A family's moment required great.
Mindful that many veterans not far from here are tracing their fingers over.
Black granite for friends who never came home.
And expect us.
Through all weekend.
To bring every missing American service -- home to their friends.
All our nation's veterans.
You fought in Salerno -- samarra.
-- -- or the court at all.
You are part of an unbroken chain of men and women who have served this country with honor.
On behalf proud and grateful nation.
We thank you.
When I spoke here on this -- two years ago.
I said there would be a table for a long when this generation of servicemen and women would Begin to step out of uniform.
And I made.
-- -- I said that when that your tour ends.
When you see our flag when you touch our soil.
You'll be home and an America that is forever here for you just as you've been there for us.
That -- has come.
Over the past decade more than five million Americans have -- The uniform.
Of the United States armed forces.
Obviously three million stepped forward after the attacks of September 11.
Knowing full well that they could be sent in the harm's way.
And in that time.
-- served -- some of the world's most dangerous places.
-- service has been selfless.
There accomplishments have been extraordinary.
In Iraq they have battled a brutal insurgency.
-- -- security forces and given the Iraqi People.
The opportunity to forge a better future.
They're pushed back the -- -- decimated al-Qaeda.
Delivered the ultimate justice to Osama bin Laden.
-- -- -- With our allies.
That helped and -- -- -- as brutal dictatorship -- return Libya to its feet.
Because of -- incredible left us.
We can stand here today and say -- confidence.
The tide of war is -- In just a few weeks.
The long war in Iraq will finally come to an end.
Our transition in Afghanistan.
It's moving forward.
My fellow Americans our troops are coming home.
For many military families this holiday season.
Will be a season of home governments.
And over the next five years more than one million Americans in uniform -- transition back to civilian life.
-- the nearly three million who have done so over the past decade.
And embraced a proud new role.
The role of better.
This generation of service -- this 9/11.
Has borne the burden of our security.
During a hard decade of sacrifice.
Our servicemen -- women make up less than 1%.
But also more than one million military spouses.
And two million children.
And millions more parents and relatives all of whom have shared the strains of deployment and sacrificed.
On behalf of the country that we -- Only two point seven years old on average.
These young men and women have shattered the -- -- of their generation's apathy.
-- became -- bridge in an era when so many institutions failed to live up to bear responsibilities.
But they chose to serve a cause greater than ourselves.
They -- other country threatened.
But they signed up to confront that threat.
They felt some -- They answered some call.
And they said.
And they've earned their place among the greatest of generations.
That is something.
For America to be proud of that is the spirit.
America needs now.
-- spirit of service.
And a sacrifice.
-- spirit that says what can I do to help.
What can I do to certain that spirit that says what my country is challenged I will do my part.
To meet that challenge.
So on this veterans day.
Let us commit ourselves.
To keep making sure that our veterans receive the care and benefits that they have earned.
They defend and deserve.
And above all let us welcome them home as what they are.
An infertile a central part of our American -- C one.
Our men and women sign up to become a soldier sailor.
And airman marine or coast Guardsmen.
They don't stop being a sentence.
-- -- take off that uniform.
Their service to this nation doesn't stop even.
Like so many of their predecessors today is veterans.
Come home looking to continue serving America however they can.
At a time -- America needs all hands on deck.
They have the skills and the strength to help lead the way.
Our government needs their patriotism.
And sense of duty.
And that's why I've ordered the hiring of more veterans by the federal government.
Mean there -- tremendous talents and specialized skills.
So -- challenged our business leaders to hire a 100000.
Post nine elevenths veterans and -- -- over the next few years and yesterday many of these leaders join Michelle to announce that they will meet.
Have always drawn strength from our veterans leadership.
Think of all who come home and settled on -- quiet life -- service.
Doctor or police officer.
For an entrepreneur or.
As a mom or dad.
And in the process changed countless lives.
Other veterans -- new adventures.
On new business to building a team of -- -- veterans through your skills learned in combat.
To help after a natural disaster.
They're also so many in this young generation who still feel that talk to serve but.
Just don't quite know where to turn -- -- On this veterans day.
I -- every American.
Recruit our veterans.
If you're a business -- hire them.
If you're community leader a mayor a pastor or preacher.
Called them to join your -- Organizer community to make a sustain that difference in the life.
Of a veteran because that -- -- can make an incredible difference in the life of your community.
If you're a veteran looking more.
New ways to sort of check out serve not got.
If you're a civilian looking for new ways to support our veterans and our troops joined Michelle and Joseph Biden.
-- joining forces -- got.
Find out what you can do.
There's no such thing.
As too small a difference.
That effort you make.
May have the biggest impact.
I say this because recently I received a letter.
From a Vietnam better.
You want to writing to tell me about.
Her own experience you just want to tell me about her son Jeremy.
Jeremy is not a veteran.
Or even in the military at all as badly as he wants to follow in the footsteps of his family.
And in -- The seat.
Jeremy has Down syndrome.
So Jeremy chooses to serve.
Or he can best.
-- -- local Vietnam veterans of America chapter in beaver Pennsylvania.
He called them the soldiers.
And one day last spring Jeremy spent the day with several.
Of these veterans cleaning up a local -- white.
He worked tirelessly.
Broke his mother.
He never asked to take a break.
-- and stopped to talk about his beloved Steelers.
You can even ask.
-- -- -- -- -- He only asked for one thing several times.
-- President Obama be proud of me for helping the soldiers.
-- -- I want to know yes.
I I am proud of you.
I could not be broader view and your country.
Is proud of you.
Thank you for serving our veterans by helping them to continue their service to America.
And Jeremy is an example.
One young man's example.
Is one that we must all now -- Because after a decade of war.
The nation we now need to build it is RO.
And just as our greatest generation left a country recovering from depression.
And returned home to build the largest middle class in history.
So now -- -- 9/11 generation play a pivotal role in rebuilding America's opportunity and prosperity.
In the 40% from.
We know will be hard.
We have to overcome new threats to our security and prosperity.
We've got overcome the cynical voice is warning that America's best days are behind us.
But if there -- anything our veterans teach us it's that there is no threat we cannot meet.
There is no challenge that we cannot overcome.
America the best days are still ahead and the reason for that is because we are people who defied those voices that insist otherwise.
We -- country that does what is necessary.
For future generations to foot -- You are veterans fight so our children.
We build and we event and we learned that.
We will no greater opportunity.
America leads some of the next generation.
Here and around the world.
Will know a more hopeful life on this certain.
So today that I thank you all.
For making that possible.
God bless you.
God bless our veterans and our troops.
And god bless the United States of America.
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