Ladies and Gentlemen, the great Roman orator Cicero once said, “Poor is the nation that has no heroes, but poorer still is the nation that having heroes, fails to remember and honor them.”
In our society some men are lionized for their great wealth, or their political power, or their social position. Some are renowned for their athletic ability. Others are accorded celebrity status as film stars or rock icons. But of all the titles in the world I believe the proudest is that of veteran because it refers to an individual who was willing to give up everything for America.
In William Shakespeare’s play “Henry the 5th,” the king of England on the eve of the last great battle of the One Hundred Years War, stood before his beleaguered and out numbered soldiers and said to them,
”We few, we happy few, we band of brothers, for he who sheds his blood with me this day until the ending of the world is my brother.”
The veterans who wore the uniform of this country are a brotherhood. They represent less than 7% of the population making them members of the most exclusive fraternity in America, forever connected by a shared sense of duty, commitment and willingness to sacrifice their lives that set them apart and make them different from everyone else in our society.
Let us remain friends and stay united as veterans, and extend one to the other, the mutual respect earned by men who stood together in defense of America.
“Let us, we few, we happy few, until the ending of the world, remain a band of brothers.”
We gather here on May 1st to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice in the 5 Decade long struggle known as "The Cold War". Many may ask why commemorate these men on May 1st. The fall of the Berlin Wall or the dissolving of the Soviet Union are anniversaries that might just as well be the one marked on the calender for this occasion.
Allow me to tell you why.
May 1st Communist Party Workers day, a day In the Communist Block mandatory upon the proletarian organizations of all countries to stop work on [[May 1]], This was a day to celebrate the accomplishments of the State and maybe most importantly to show case the power of the Red military machine. I do not think there is anyone of us old enough who cannot remember those ominous news reel images of troops, tanks, and missiles rolling down the parade route endlessly in Moscow and repeated all over Eastern Europe and Asia and even in our own hemisphere.
These images were a annual reminder to us that we were locked in a ideological struggle that was a very real threat to our freedoms and our very way of life.
How would we respond to this menace? The only way we could respond was to check communist aggression wherever and whenever it reared its ugly head and for three generations young Americans answered that call from the Fulda Gap to Korean DMZ . From Jungles of Southeast Asia to the radar stations in the Arctic. The Air, the land, on and under all the 7 Seas. Proxy wars and a doctrine called MAD these men and women answered the call and went all over the globe to contain the spread of communism and some never returned.
So on May 1st a day that celebrated the Communist worker and military might, We too Shall honor the worker: the Airmen, Marines, Sailors, and Soldiers who lie in rest here will not be forgotten for the work they have done to keep this country free . "Lest We Forget" a grateful nation remembers and thanks you for your service.