On Tuesday, November 11, 2014 we celebrate Veterans Day.
From the establishment of Armistice Day on November 11, 1918 by President Wilson to the proclamation of Veterans Day by President Eisenhower in 1954, it has been a tradition to pay tribute to our Veterans’ valor, strength of character, and willingness to put their lives on the line to defend us all. It is also a time to remember those who gave their lives for the Nation.
We thank all who have worn the uniform and those now serving at home and abroad for all that they have risked and done.
We honor the more than 41,000 active duty members and 8,000 reservists of the U.S. Coast Guard, as well as civilian veteran employees who may be no farther away than a neighboring office or cubicle. The more than 54,000 veteran employees of DHS greatly enrich our workforce as they continue to defend our Nation through our department’s homeland security mission.
This afternoon, I was privileged to participate in the U.S. Coast Guard’s Veterans Day Wreath Laying at Arlington National Ceremony with the Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard to recognize the contributions of my colleagues who have stood watch in sentry, over our Nation’s maritime borders and has come to the aid of people in distress. The Coast Guard has defended our freedoms abroad during wartime, as a lifeline in some of the most significant disasters our country has ever experienced.
Last month at the Secretary’s Awards Ceremony, Deputy Secretary Mayorkas and I were pleased to present the DHS Veterans Employment Coordinators Team with the Secretary’s Award for Excellence, for significantly enhancing Veterans’ hiring across the Department of Homeland Security, and for being recognized as leaders in this effort across the entire Federal government.
Every veteran of this great country is a reminder that the freedom we enjoy has been secured and preserved by the courage and sacrifice of American heroes and American patriots.
We will never take for granted our veterans and their families, for what they’ve done and continue to do for this country.
Some people believe the age of heroes has passed. Not so. Whether you are viewing a parade, thanking a Veteran for his or her service, or participating in commemorative activities through your component, I encourage you to observe this Veterans Day by keeping faith with heroes who have kept this Nation safe and free.