November 8, 2002

Veterans Day 2002 Message From the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff

Veterans Day is always a solemn occasion to reflect on and to show our gratitude for those who have fought to preserve the freedoms all Americans enjoy today.

This day was established after World War I to pay tribute to those who served in that Great War. In 1954, the day’s significance was expanded to honor all the soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines, coastguardsmen, and merchant marines who have worn our Nation’s uniform. By pausing to remember, we recognize the many diverse and difficult circumstances that our Veterans have faced. However, no matter what the time or the uniform, they are united by the same ideals: life and liberty, peace and prosperity, service and sacrifice.

Today we find ourselves in the midst of a non-traditional war against a very elusive enemy. Like those before us, we serve in demanding conditions, and our mission — like theirs — requires courage, vision and selflessness. Today’s men and women in uniform seek to build upon the strong foundation laid by America’s Veterans.

The Joint Chiefs of Staff and I join all Americans in paying tribute to our Veterans. They have created a legacy that all of us in uniform strive to uphold.

May God continue to bless America, and the Veterans who so valiantly served her.

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff

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