Paying tribute to those who made enormous sacrifices to ensure our liberty and freedom
The following are excerpts of remarks by Rep. Chris Smith (R-Manchester) for Manchester Township’s Veterans Day ceremony:
“Special thanks to Roger Grenier for your exemplary service to our nation and for chairing Manchester’s Veterans Advisory Committee.
Mayor Rob Arace, Council President Roxy Conniff, friends.
As you know, the armistice ending World War I went into effect in 1918—at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day on the eleventh month.
One year later, President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed the first Armistice Day and in 1938 Congress made it a federal holiday.
In 1954, Veterans Service Organizations persuaded Congress to rename it Veterans Day—a day of deep and abiding gratitude and respect for all those who have served in America’s armed forces.
On the first (now renamed) Veterans Day, President Dwight D. Eisenhower eloquently said in 1954 that on November 11th ‘let us solemnly remember the sacrifices of all those who fought so valiantly, on the seas, in the air, and on foreign shores, to preserve our heritage of freedom, and let us reconsecrate ourselves to the task of promoting an enduring peace so that their efforts shall not have been in vain.’
It is altogether right and fitting that we honor and pay tribute—in both words and deeds—each and every day but especially on Veterans Day, to those who made enormous sacrifices to ensure our liberty and freedom.
Whether it be the price that was paid to secure total victory against Nazi Germany or Imperial Japan, or the fierce battles in Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, parts of Africa and more, or the decades long cold war standoff with the Soviet Union and Warsaw Pact countries, and ongoing threats from Putin’s Russia, China, North Korea, Iran, and terrorist organizations, you courageously did what had to be done.
Because of your selfless sacrifice and bravery, we are free and can hope for a sustainable peace and a better tomorrow.
It is said that America is free because of the brave. And it is.
Because of you.
Words are inadequate to fully convey America’s thanks.
On behalf of a grateful town, state and nation, THANK YOU.
You are heroes.
May God continue to bless and protect and strengthen and where needed—heal—each and every veteran and his or her family.”