Memorial Day Closes…


A long-held musical tradition at military funerals, the music of Taps originated from a Civil War bugle call entitled, “Extinguish Lights”. A plaintive call, the sounding of Taps signals the end of the fallen serviceman’s duty and is the final tribute from a grateful nation.

To those who have given the last full measure of devotion, we honor your service, pay tribute to your lives, and thank you for your selfless sacrifice.

The Bugler is Technical Sgt. Jason Covey. The location is Culpeper National Cemetery

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“Today we honor the extra ordinary sacrifice of not only these service members, but also their families–especially our Gold Star families. Each individual loss brings untold grief. Each loss is a hope never realized. Each loss is a dream never reached.”

Every one was a son or a daughter. A husband or a wife. A mother or a father. Each is a gaping hole of grief that can never be adequately filled.”

“For the families of the fallen we are here to remember that for them every day is Memorial Day.”

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff U.S. Army General Mark A. Milley

President Trump Speech, Memorial Day Ceremony, Fort McHenry – Video and Transcript…


Following the solemn ceremony at Arlington the President and First Lady traveled to Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine in Maryland where President Trump delivered remarks honoring Memorial Day 2020.  [Video and Transcript Below]

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[Transcript] – THE PRESIDENT: I stand before you at this noble fortress of American liberty to pay tribute to the immortal souls who fought and died to keep us free. Earlier today, the First Lady and I laid a wreath in their sacred honor at Arlington National Cemetery. Now we come together to salute the flag they gave their lives to so boldly and brilliantly defend. And we pledge, in their cherished memories, that this majestic flag will proudly fly forever.

We’re joined for today’s ceremony by Secretary of Defense Mark Esper; Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt; the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark Milley; Congressman Andy Harris; and a number of service members and veterans of the Armed Forces. The dignity, daring, and devotion of the American military is unrivaled anywhere in history and any place in the world.

In recent months, our nation and the world have been engaged in a new form of battle against an invisible enemy. Once more, the men and women of the United States military have answered the call to duty and raced into danger. Tens of thousands of service members and National Guardsmen are on the frontlines of our war against this terrible virus — caring for patients, delivering critical supplies, and working night and day to safeguard our citizens.

As one nation, we mourn alongside every single family that has lost loved ones, including the families of our great veterans. Together, we will vanquish the virus, and America will rise from this crisis to new and even greater heights.

As our brave warriors have shown us from our nation’s earliest days: In America, we are the captains of our own fate. No obstacle, no challenge, and no threat is a match for the sheer determination of the American people. This towering spirit permeates every inch of the hallowed soil beneath our feet. In this place, more than 200 years ago, American patriots stood their ground and repelled a British invasion in the Battle of Baltimore during the War of 1812.

Early on a September morning in 1814, the British fleet launched an assault on this peninsula. From the harbor, some 30 British warships attacked this stronghold. Rockets rained down. Bombs burst in the air. In the deck of one ship, a gallant young American was held captive. His name was Francis Scott Key.

For 25 hours, Key watched in dismay as fire crashed down upon this ground. But through torrents of rain and smoke and the din of battle, Key could make out 15 broad stripes and 15 bright stars — barraged and battered, but still there. American forces did not waver. They did not retreat. They stared down the invasion and the held that they had to endure. The fact is, they held like nobody could have held before. They held this fort.

The British retreated. Independence was saved. Francis Scott Key was so inspired by the sight of our flag in the battle waged that the very grounds that he fought on became hallowed and he wrote a poem. His ageless words became the anthem of our nation: “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

Every time we sing our anthem, every time its rousing chorus swells our hearts with pride, we renew the eternal bonds of loyalty to our fallen heroes. We think of the soldiers who spent their final heroic moments on distant battlefields to keep us safe at home. We remember the young Americans who never got the chance to grow old but whose legacy will outlive us all.

In every generation, these intrepid souls kissed goodbye to their families and loved ones. They took flight in planes, set sail in ships, and marched into battle with our flag, fighting for our country, defending our people.

When the cause of liberty was in jeopardy, American warriors carried that flag through ice and snow to victory at Trenton. They hoisted it up the masts of great battleships in Manila Bay. They fought through hell to raise it high atop a remote island in the Pacific Ocean called Iwo Jima. From the Philippine Sea to Fallujah, from New Orleans to Normandy, from Saratoga to Saipan, from the Battle of Baltimore to the Battle of the Bulge, Americans gave their lives to carry that flag through piercing waves, blazing fires, sweltering deserts, and storms of bullets and shrapnel. They climbed atop enemy tanks, jumped out of burning airplanes, and leapt on live grenades. Their love was boundless. Their devotion was without limit. Their courage was beyond measure.

Army Green Beret Captain Daniel Eggers grew up in Cape Coral, Florida, determined to continue his family’s tradition of military service — and it was a great tradition. He attended the legendary Citadel Military College in South Carolina. Soon, he met a beautiful cadet, Rebecca. They fell in love, married, and had two sons.

In 2004, Daniel left for his second deployment in Afghanistan. On the morning of May 29th, Daniel and his team were courageously pursuing a group of deadly terrorists when he was killed by an improvised explosive device.

This week is the 16th anniversary of the day that Daniel made the supreme sacrifice for our nation. He laid down his life to defeat evil and to save his fellow citizens.

At the time of his death, Daniel’s sons Billy and John were three and five years old. Today, they have followed in Daniel’s footsteps — both students at the Citadel planning to serve in the military. Their amazing mom Rebecca has now served more than 23 years in the U.S. Army. Everywhere she goes, she wears Daniel’s Gold Star pin on the lapel of her uniform.

Colonel Rebecca Eggers and her two sons are here today, along with Daniel’s father Bill and mother Margo. To the entire Eggers family: Your sacrifice is beyond our ability to comprehend or repay.

Today, we honor Daniel’s incredible life and exceptional valor, and we promise you that we will cherish his blessed memory forever.

Thank you very much for being here. Thank you very much. (Applause.) Please. Thank you. Thank you. Great family. Thank you very much.

To every Gold Star family here today and all across our land: Our debt to you is infinite and everlasting. We stand with you today and all days to come, remembering and grieving for America’s greatest heroes. In spirit and strength, in loyalty and love, in character and courage, they were larger than life itself. They were angels sent from above, and they are now rejoined with God in the glorious Kingdom of Heaven.

Wherever the Stars and Stripes fly — at our schools, our churches, town halls, firehouses, and national monuments — it is made possible because there are extraordinary Americans who are willing to brave death so that we can live in freedom and live in peace.

In the two centuries since Francis Scott Key wrote about the stirring sight of our flag in battle, countless other American patriots have given their own testimony about the meaning of the flag. One was World War Two veteran Jim Krebs from Sunbury, Ohio.

Jim and his twin brother Jack fought side by side in General Patton’s Third Army. At the Battle of the Bulge, the twins volunteered for a dangerous mission. Together, they took out four enemy tanks, two machine gun nests, and a mothar [sic] position that was very powerful, loaded up with mortars. Jim’s brother Jack was mortally wounded. Jim held his dying brother in his arms, praying together as his twin passed away.

Jim fought to victory and came home to build a great American life. He married, had children, became an electrical engineer, and taught young people about war. As an old man, Jim was asked what about the American flag and what it meant to him. Jim said, “The flag to me is as precious as the freedom that the flag stands for. It’s as precious to me as the thousands of lives that have been lost defending her. It’s that important to me; it gave me a value of life that I could have never gotten any other way. It gave me a value of my Lord, my family, my friends, loved ones, and especially my country. What more could I ask?”

Last month, Jim died peacefully at his home at the age of 94. This afternoon, we are greatly honored to be joined by his grandsons, Andy and Ron. Please, thank you very much. Thank you very much. (Applause.) Thank you very much for being here.

Today, as we remember the sacrifice of Jim’s brother Jack, we honor Jim’s service, and we are moved by his beautiful words. Andy and Ron, thank you for being here to remember your grandfather and his brother, and what they did for us all, and most importantly, what they stood for.

From generation to generation, heroes like these have poured out their blood and sweat and heart and tears for our country. Because of them, America is strong and safe and mighty and free. Because of them, two centuries on, the Star Spangled Banner still proudly waves.

For as long as our flag flies in the sky above, the names of these fallen warriors will be woven into its threads. For as long as we have citizens willing to follow their example, to carry on their burden, to continue their legacy, then America’s cause will never fail and American freedom will never, ever die.

Today, we honor the heroes we have lost. We pray for the loved ones they left behind. And with God as our witness, we solemnly vow to protect, preserve, and cherish this land they gave their last breath to defend and to defend so proudly.

Thank you. God bless our military. God bless the memory of the fallen. God bless our Gold Star families. And God bless America. Thank you very much. (Applause.)

END 12:16 P.M. EDT

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President Trump and First Lady Melania Memorial Day, Arlington Ceremony – Video and Pictures


President Donald Trump, First Lady Melania Trump, Vice-President Mike Pence and Second Lady Karen Pence, together with Defense Secretary Mark Esper, lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington to honor Memorial Day.

Wearing a white suit coat and white heels First Lady Melania stood at the center steps of the amphitheater steps during the ceremony. Also in the amphitheater was Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao & Treasury Secretary Mnuchin.

We Remember, We Honor, We Celebrate


This is a modified re-post from last year. I love the video and I cannot top it, so I offer it again.

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Today all across this great land we call America, we pause to remember those who have fallen. We give thanks for their final sacrifice, for their love of country, and we say prayers for them, for their families, for the country they serve. We fly flags to honor their service, to observe our own dedication to America.

However, being the ever optimistic Americans we are, we have turned this day formerly known as Decoration Day into a nation wide party, a celebration of patriotism, family, summer’s promise, and just any old other thing we choose it to be, but in some places like our little town Memorial Day is still about the fallen servicemen and women who gave their lives for our country.

Tracking the origins of Memorial Day proves to be a somewhat difficult task. Some attribute it to former African slaves paying tribute to fallen Union soldiers. There is strong evidence that women of the South were decorating graves before the end of the Civil War. On May 30, 1868, flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery. By 1890 all the northern states were observing the day. The South would not observe the same date until after World War I, when it became more than an observance recognizing those fallen in the Civil War.

So, it took another war to unite Americans in remembrance of those fallen heroes.

Stubborn aren’t we? Memorial Day is specifically a day to honor our fallen who died while serving in our Armed Forces. Nevertheless, it reminds me of many trips to the cemetery as a child.

Here in the South, I grew up visiting the cemetery on birthdays, holidays, and whenever my mother felt a need to connect with those gone from her – but never forgotten.

Each visit to the cemetery (my mother never let us call it a graveyard) was a fascinating experience to me as a child, and sometimes we visited, or at least drove by the National Battlefield.

We drove past it everyday on the way to my dad’s business and I always used to watch for the large flag to be at half mast. I knew then that a soldier or sailor had died, or sometimes it signified a national loss like the Apollo 1 tragedy or the loss of a president, as I remember the death of President Kennedy.

There was a protocol to the visit. Always walk around the plots, never step on one. Wander away as my mother knelt in the grass coaxed lovingly into growth in the red Georgia clay. Look first for relatives, those my mother spoke of, and those strange names I was unfamiliar with. Look for the little stone with the lamb on top – the resting place of my mother’s baby sister, Carole. Look for more lambs and little angels – they were dotted around the older section with alarming frequency, something I noticed even as a child. Take note of all the flowers.

It was a fine thing for a family to have many who remembered to honor their dead. I also very vividly remember the little American flags stuck in the ground on days such as Memorial Day and the Fourth of July.

Not too long ago, I found a small cemetery with a mass grave of Confederate soldiers who mostly died of an outbreak, possibly flu, during the war. Those little flags had been put in the ground around the few individual markers. I wondered if they minded that 50 star flag, or if they were grateful to be remembered, honored, prayed over.

It was something I lived with as a child, this presence of the dead. I never thought much about it until recently. Here you literally cannot stray far outside your own yard without encountering some reminder of the war fought on this soil, and those fallen. As a child, many of our parents remembered grandparents who fought in the war. It is alive for us, and so has colored how we honor our dead, those who have fallen in battle, and those who in the words of many a fire and brimstone preacher, “The LORD has called home to be with HIM.” Believe me, no disrespect intended, just an indication of a little local flavor.

And so, I find myself wondering. Is this a southern thing? Is it an American thing? Or is it something common to all of us, this need to return to the place we left our loved ones for the final time on this earth? Is it a regional custom, tied deep in the roots we are so tangled in, or a need born with our souls? I think it must be the latter, with a twist of regional observances that may vary from place to place, but sooth the heart of those who wait here, on this side.

Perhaps, after all is said and done, it meets our needs more than just paying respect to the dead. We wander there, among those peaceful plots, wondering, imagining, where are they? How is it there? When will my time come? Will I be with them again? Then, that most human of all questions. Who will honor me in my time, when I lay beneath the grass coaxed lovingly into growth in the red Georgia clay?

In Ringgold volunteers work for several weeks to place the poles and crosses you saw in the video. You can even get a list of names and locations so that families can locate the cross for their own loved one. We Remember, we honor, we celebrate. I sure hope we always will.

I hope you enjoyed the video of my former hometown. I could not have been more proud to have lived in a place like this little town. I am happy to say that the neighborhood I live in now also places crosses and flags to honor our fallen, not quite as spectacular a display as the town of Ringgold, but volunteers come together to honor those from this community who gave their lives for our freedom, and they have not been forgotten or gone unappreciated.

Vietnam Veterans Day


I was there in 1967 and we lost 5 men in my A-team and 2 others that were in support of us.  

Internet – Doorway to Cyber Warfare


The new world of cyber warfare is upon us. Today, enemies send out malware through the Internet. They send instructions to external computers, often in email attachments. This is their way to steal passwords, email correspondence and documents, mostly unnoticed; this is how they gain access to the computers of generals and ministers to record conversations; this is how hackers manipulate elections or paralyze government authorities and power stations. These are attacks meant to damage what keeps countries together at their very core: their economy, their internal security, everyday life.

This conflict has intensified steadily over the last decade. Today, it looks as though it might be steering towards escalation. Espionage, sabotage, destabilization are all happening every day. The question is what comes next. How long will it take until someone reprogrammes drones or sabotages a nuclear program?

The future we face has changed. My mother used to tell me, everything in moderation. The internet has expanded the global economy beyond all proportions. We have clients in more than 150 countries out of 195 and attendees to our World Economic Conferences have reached 137 countries among those joining – the largest private events in the forecasting area.

The dark side of the internet is the mere fact that it has opened the doorway to a new type of warfare. Where do we go from here? As we cascade into 2032, the future certainly becomes exposed to an endless array of interesting twists. Like the classic line from the Wizzard of Oz, “Dorothy, you not in Kansas anymore!”

General John F. Kelly – Six seconds and then into eternity.


1.79K subscribers

General Kelly spoke to the Gold Star Families of California in 2014 and told the story of two Marines bravery. He tells of how they stood their Post and did their jobs as Marines, and how they stopped the truck that the homicide bomber was driving before he could detonate the 2,000 pounds of explosives meant for the other Marines and Iraqi police who were sleeping in the barracks, close to where the bomb went off. Jonathan Yale and Jordan Haerter had only six seconds to engage the driver. Not enough time to think of anything but how to stop the driver of the truck that was trying to get past them and destroy the barracks housing their fellow Marines and the Iraqi Police. Please share General Kelly’s speech about these brave men and their faithful duty to our nation, to each other and what the true meaning of what it means to serve and sacrifice. They gave their all and now the rest at peace, least we forget their bravery and that this nation has some of the best that stand in the ranks of our armed forces. They stand on the wall every night keeping their families and their fellow Americans safe from those who would destroy all that we are. Semper Fi

Warfare & Killer Robots That Can Change Everything


It has been reported that China is selling its killer robots to the Middle East. These things will simply kill every human on the battlefield. This is clearly changing the face of warfare and the serious concern is that these things will one day be deployed in civil unrest situations. If we have machines that enforce laws or replace soldiers in battle, this is actually the greatest wish-list governments have had for centuries. The power of any government rests upon its military to back it. Make no mistake about this, the United States has also staged exercises using the military to launch an assault on American cities. Even the EU has been conducting military/police exercises in case of civil war breaks out inside Europe.

Theordora-Ravena

I have written many times that the playbook on using the military against civilians to protect the government goes back to the Nika Riots of 532 ADThere were two rival political factions in the empire, the Blues and the Greens, who started a riot in January 532AD during a chariot race in the hippodrome. The riots stemmed from many grievances, and the people set fire to many public buildings. They even proclaimed a new emperor, Hypatius. Unable to control the mob, Emperor Justinian and his officials prepared to flee. His wife, Theodora, spoke out against fleeing the capital. She took charge and ordered the loyal troops led by two reliable foreign officers outside of Constantinople, Belisarius and Mundus, to attack the demonstrators in the hippodrome located in the city. Troops inside Constantinople refused to attack their own people. The key was to use troops who were not local for they would defend the government and kill people they did not know. The lesson is you cannot use local troops who may not kill people they know, are family, or personal friends.

These new killer robots are the ultimate solution. This is how the government put down the Nika Riots and it remains the classic means to maintain power when confronted by civil unrest. This is in all government’s instruction manuals and why we should rethink standing armies – i.e., Venezuela.

We Remember…


Seventy-eight years ago today, the course of our Nation’s history was forever altered by the surprise attack at Pearl Harbor on Oahu, Hawaii. On National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day, we solemnly remember the tragic events of that morning and honor those who perished in defense of our Nation that day and in the ensuing 4 years of war.

Just before 8 a.m. on December 7, 1941, airplanes launched from the Empire of Japan’s aircraft carriers dropped bombs and torpedoes from the sky, attacking our ships moored at Naval Station Pearl Harbor and other military assets around Oahu. Following this swift assault, the United States Pacific Fleet and most of the Army and Marine airfields on the island were left decimated. Most tragically, 2,335 American service members and 68 civilians were killed, marking that fateful day as one of the deadliest in our Nation’s history.

Despite the shock of the attack, American service members at Pearl Harbor fought back with extraordinary courage and resilience. Sprinting through a hailstorm of lead, pilots rushed to the few remaining planes and took to the skies to fend off the incoming Japanese attackers. Soldiers on the ground fired nearly 300,000 rounds of ammunition and fearlessly rushed to the aid of their wounded brothers in arms. As a solemn testament to the heroism that abounded that day, 15 American servicemen were awarded the Medal of Honor — 10 of which were awarded posthumously. In one remarkable act of bravery, Doris “Dorie” Miller, a steward aboard the USS West Virginia, manned a machine gun and successfully shot down multiple Japanese aircraft despite not having been trained to use the weapon. For his valor, Miller was awarded the Navy Cross and was the first African-American recognized with this honor.

In the wake of this heinous attack, the United States was left stunned and wounded. Yet the dauntless resolve of the American people remained unwavering and unbreakable. In his address to the Congress the following day, broadcast to the Nation over radio, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt assured us that “[w]ith confidence in our armed forces, with the unbounding determination of our people, we will gain the inevitable triumph.” In the days, months, and years that followed, the full might of the American people, industry, and military was brought to bear on our enemies. Across the Atlantic and Pacific, 16 million American servicemen and women fought to victory, making the world safe for freedom and democracy once again. More than 400,000 of these brave men and women never returned home, giving their last full measure of devotion for our Nation.

While nearly eight decades have passed since the last sounds of battle rang out over Pearl Harbor, we will never forget the immeasurable sacrifices these courageous men and women made so that we may live today in peace and prosperity. We continue to be inspired by the proud legacy left by the brave patriots of the Greatest Generation who served in every capacity during World War II, from keeping factories operating on the home front to fighting on the battlefields in Europe, North Africa, and the South Pacific. Their incredible heroism, dedication to duty, and love of country continue to embolden our drive to create a better world and galvanize freedom-loving people everywhere under a common cause. On this day, we resolve forever to keep the memory of the heroes of Pearl Harbor alive as a testament to the tremendous sacrifices they made in defense of freedom and all that we hold dear.

The Congress, by Public Law 103-308, as amended, has designated December 7 of each year as “National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day.”

NOW, THEREFORE, I, DONALD J. TRUMP, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim December 7, 2019, as National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day. I encourage all Americans to observe this solemn day of remembrance and to honor our military, past and present, with appropriate ceremonies and activities. I urge all Federal agencies and interested organizations, groups, and individuals to fly the flag of the United States at half-staff in honor of those American patriots who died as a result of their service at Pearl Harbor.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this sixth day of December, in the year of our Lord two thousand nineteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-fourth.

DONALD J. TRUMP

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President Trump Delivers Remarks During New York Veterans Day Parade – Video and Transcript…


Earlier today President Trump and First Lady Melania attended the New York City Veterans Day parade to honor our nations service members. President Donald J. Trump has made it a priority to support American veterans. [Video and Transcript Below]

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[Transcript] – THE PRESIDENT: Well, thank you very much, Stanley. And thank you for your tremendous support of this wonderful parade. Today, we come together as one nation to salute the veterans of the United States Armed Forces — the greatest warriors to ever walk the face of the Earth. Our veterans risked everything for us. Now it is our duty to serve and protect them every single day of our lives.

It is truly an honor to come back to New York City, right here in Madison Square Park, to be the first President ever to attend “America’s Parade.” (Applause.)

To every veteran here with us, to the thousands preparing to march on 5^th Avenue — it’ll be really something — and to the 18 million veterans across our country: The First Lady and I have come to express the everlasting love and loyalty of 327 million Americans.

I want to recognize Department of Veterans Affairs Deputy Secretary James Byrne for joining us. Thank you, James. Thank you, James. (Applause.) Great job. I’m pleased to report that our administration and all of the work that we’ve done — the veteran satisfaction with the VA is at 90 percent. It’s the highest rate ever recorded in the history of this particular program. And that’s awfully good, and we’re very proud of you and the Secretary. Thank you very much. Great job. (Applause.)

Also with us is New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. Thank you very much, Mr. Mayor. Thank you. (Applause.) Along with many other distinguished guests.

Thanks as well to everyone at the United War Veterans Council for putting on this incredible event, including Bill White, Doug McGowan, and a very special acknowledgement to someone who has devoted his life to this parade: Marine Vietnam veteran Vince McGowan. Thank you. (Applause.) Thank you very much. Thank you.

Thank you, each of you, and all of the supporters whose generosity make this parade possible. Tremendous amounts of work has been done, and tremendous, frankly, amounts of money has been donated. And we appreciate it, and we appreciate Stanley.

We’re very glad to be joined as well by the Honorary Grand Marshal of the Parade, Marine Corps Commandant General David Berger and the Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps Troy Black. Thank you very much. Thank you. (Applause.) Thank you very much.

Let us also show our profound appreciation to the 2019 grand marshals of the parade who have served in World War Two, Korea, Vietnam, the Gulf War, and Iraq.

This morning, as more than 30,000 patriotic Americans line the streets of Manhattan, we carry on a noble tradition that began one century ago. In 1919, the people of this city filled block after block to welcome home General Pershing and his 25,000 American soldiers after victory in World War One.

Just a few years before, many of those soldiers had boarded ships not far from here at Hoboken Port. More than 4 million Americans fought in the Great War, and more than 116,000 made the ultimate sacrifice.

At the 11th hour, of the 11th day, of the 11th month, in 1918, the Armistice was declared, the war had come to an end, and the Allies achieved a great, great victory.

Every year since, on November 11th, we have shared our nation’s deepest praise and gratitude to every citizen who has worn the uniform of the American Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, and Marines.

We are profoundly moved to have with us veterans of World War Two, including one of the grand marshals, Woody Williams. Thank you. (Applause.) Thank you, Woody. Thank you very much, Woody.

To each veteran of the war: The glory of your deeds will only grow greater with time. This city is graced by your presence. This nation is forever in your debt. And we thank you all.

We’re also pleased to be joined by veterans of the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Gulf War, and the War on Terror. You are the reason our hearts swell with pride, our foes tremble with fear, and our nation thrives in freedom. Would you please stand so that we can honor your heroic service? Please. (Applause.) Thank you very much. Thank you. Thank you all.

Each year, this parade highlights one branch of our military. This year, we honor the elite masters of air, land, and sea — the legendary Leathernecks, the feared Devil Dogs, the “first to [DEL: flight :DEL] [fight]”: the United States Marines. Let’s hear it. (Applause.) That’s great.

Yesterday, we celebrated the Marines’ 244th birthday. That’s pretty good. (Applause.) The Few and the Proud are always faithful, and they always win.

I also want to thank the Marine Corps Law Enforcement Foundation, which provides scholarships to children of our fallen heroes. To every Gold Star Family: We will stand by your side forever.

It is very fitting that the Veterans Day Parade begin right here in New York City. Since the earliest days of our nation, New York has exemplified the American spirit and has been at the heart of our nation’s story of daring and defiance.

On July 2nd, 1776, the British Armada sailed into New York Harbor, numbering more than 400 ships and carrying more than 30,000 men. The British came here to snuff out what they thought was just a minor American Revolution. Didn’t turn out to be that way. But the Redcoats did know — what they did know was they were going to have a problem, but they didn’t know that New York would meet them with the fearsome power of American patriots.

In World War One, New York regiments like “Harlem Hellfighters,” the “Lost Battalion,” and “the Fighting 69th^” were revered all over the globe.

During World War Two, 63 million tons of supplies and more than 3 million service members shipped out of New York Harbor.

On September 11, 2001, the whole world saw the horror and responded to America’s wicked enemies with [DEL: unwaving :DEL] [unwavering] courage, unbreakable spirit and resolve that is deeper than oceans, fiercer than fires, and stronger than steel.

Last week, I was honored to award the Presidential Citizens Medal to an extraordinary American: Rick Rescorla. Rick enlisted in the Army at the recruiting center in Times Square, became a great war hero in Vietnam, and then became head of security at Morgan Stanley in the World Trade Center. On September 11th, he saved 2,700 lives before giving his own. Today, we are immensely grateful to be joined by Rick’s son, Trevor. Thank you, Trevor. Thank you. (Applause.) Thank you very much. Thank you. To Trevor and every 9/11 family, we pledge to never, ever forget.

The towering spirit of strength that we see in this city lives within the heart of every American warrior. From the snow of Valley Forge to the jungles of Vietnam, from the forests of Belleau Wood to the beaches of Normandy, from the mountains of Afghanistan to the deserts of Iraq, that spirit has helped our fighters defeat tyrants, conquer fascism, vanquish communism, and face down terrorism.

Just a few weeks ago, American Special Forces raided the ISIS compound and brought the world’s number one terrorist leader to justice. Thanks to American warriors, al-Baghdadi is dead — (applause) — his second in charge is dead, we have our eyes on number three, his reign of terror is over, and our enemies are running very, very scared. Thank you. Thank you. (Applause.)

Those who threaten our people don’t stand a chance against the righteous might of the American military.

In a few weeks, we will mark the 75th anniversary of the Battle of the Bulge — our nation’s bloodiest battle of World War Two. More than 47,000 Americans were wounded, and 19,000 gave their last breath for their country.

We are proudly joined today by a veteran of the Battle of the Bulge, a native New Yorker who is 94 years old and still going very, very strong: Corporal Jack Foy. (Applause.) You look good, Jack. You look good.

Jack enlisted in the Army right out of high school. He fought through brutal months of the campaign in northern France. On Christmas Eve, after marching nearly 100 miles in the snow in sub-zero temperatures, he arrived outside the town of Bastogne in Belgium. For two weeks, Jack fought under ceaseless artillery fire and helped push the enemy back from a critical road. At one point, a mine blew up and it destroyed his vehicle, badly hurting many. He was wounded three times, but he kept on fighting.

After the Allied victory at the Battle of the Bulge, Jack fought for the remaining nine months of the war — across the Siegfried line, up the Moselle River, through the Rhineland, and all the way across Germany until he reached the gates of Ohrdruf concentration camp, the first Nazi camp to be liberated. That was number one. That was a big, big event.

As Jack has said about the Battle of the Bulge, “When the chips were down and the situation was desperate, the American soldiers stood up to be counted. For a brief moment in history, these men held our nation’s destiny in their hands. We did not fail.” Thank you very much, Jack. (Applause.) Great.

And, Corporal Foy, we will forever be proud of what you and your fellow soldiers achieved for all of humanity.

Also here with us today is Lauren Mathews, the granddaughter of a Battle of the Bulge veteran who has since passed away. His name was Master Sergeant Roddie Edmonds. Like so many of our veterans, Roddie never talked about the war. Lauren never knew her grandfather’s story until she embarked upon a school project about 10 years ago.

Roddie was in the 422nd regiment, which was overwhelmed when the Nazis launched their surprise assault. He and his men fought for three treacherous days before being taken as prisoners of war.

After they arrived at a prison camp, the German commander sent an order over the loud speaker. The Jewish-American soldiers were all told to step out of line during the roll call the next day. Knowing the terrible fate that would come to his Jewish comrades, Roddie immediately said, “We’re not doing that.” He sent orders to have every American step out of line with their Jewish brothers-in-arms.

The next morning, 1,292 Americans stepped forward. The German commander stormed over to Roddie and said, “They cannot all be Jews.” Roddie stared right back; he said, “We are all Jews here.”

At that point, the German put a gun to Roddie’s head and demanded, “You will order the Jews to step forward immediately or I will shoot you right now through the head.” Roddie responded, “Major, you can shoot me, but you’ll have to kill us all.” That’s something. (Applause.) The German turned red, got very angry, but put down his gun, and walked away.

Master Sergeant Edmonds saved 200 Jewish-Americans — soldiers that day. So proud to be Jewish and so proud of our country. Lauren, thank you for being here today as we remember your grandfather’s unbelievable and exceptional valor. Lauren, please stand up. Thank you very much. (Applause.)

One of the 200 Jewish-American soldiers who was saved that fateful day is Staff Sergeant Lester Tanner. Lester is now 96 years old — (applause) — and he joins us here. Boy, you guys are looking very good. Ninety-six. Lester — you’re really 96, Lester? I don’t believe it. You’re looking good. Thank you very much. Thank you also for your very noble service and for sharing this incredible story with the world. Thank you very much, Lester.

The men and women who have donned our nation’s uniforms are the bravest, toughest, strongest, and most virtuous warriors ever to walk on Earth.

You left your families and fought in faraway lands. You came face-to-face with evil and you did not back down. You returned home from war, and you never forgot your friends who didn’t return, including prisoners of war and those missing in action.

Every day, you think of them and pray for them. But your greatest tribute of all is the way you lived your lives in the years since. You raised your families, you endured the wounds of war, and you endured the pains of that memory. Yet, you keep going, you keep serving, you keep giving, and you keep loving. You volunteer at your local veterans post, and you keep in touch with your battle comrades. You support our Gold Star Families, you take care of our wounded warriors, and you stand alongside of our service members when they return from war.

On Veterans Day, our nation rededicates itself to our most solemn duty. While we can never repay our warriors for their boundless service and sacrifice, we must uphold with supreme vigilance our sacred obligation to “care for those who have borne the battle.”

In just a minute, we will have a moment of silence and we will lay a wreath at the Eternal Light Monument. As we do, with God as our witness, we pledge to always honor our veterans and pay immortal tribute to those who have laid down their lives so that we might be free.

Together, we must safeguard what generations of fearless patriots gave everything to secure. We will protect our liberty, uphold our values, and defend our home. We will ensure that righteous legacy of America’s veterans stands as a testament to this nation from now until the end of time.

To every veteran here today and all across our land: You are America’s greatest living heroes and we will cherish you now, always, and forever.

Thank you. God bless our veterans. And God bless America. Thank you. (Applause.) Thank you very much.

END 10:51 A.M. EST