From The Mayor's Desk

INDEX

JOSEPH SPOR

ATTACK PROCLAMATION

COMING OF DAWN

REFLECTIONS OF THE RIGHT STUFF

UNITED WE STAND

A VETERANS' DAY PRAYER

THANKSGIVING

CELEBRATE!

ACTIONS AND REACTIONS

LEST WE FORGET

ANTHONY, YOU MADE A DIFFERENCE

HOW TO REMEMBER

VETERANS' DAY 2002

THE FUND

FROM NEW YORK, WITH LOVE

HALLOWED GROUND

NEW YORK SAYS, THANKS!

WE HAVE NOT FORGOTTEN

 

UNITED WE STAND

 

(Note: I’ve had several people tell me they couldn’t hear me during the Veteran’s Day speech.  Here is the speech in its entirety.)

   

When Karen Ryan asked me to give the Veteran’s Day speech this morning, I was both honored and humbled.  I was honored because I can think of no other occasion more worthy of celebrating.  I was humbled because she told me not once, not twice, but three times to “keep it short”.  I promised her I would try, but reminded her that as the son of a preacher, it would go against my genetic code to “keep it short”. 

 

The theme of this year’s Veteran’s Day parade is United We Stand.  What a fitting theme for a time when we are indeed united.  First, we are united in our love of country.  Drive up and down any street and count the flags flying in front of businesses and homes.  Go to our school and see the patriotism displayed by our children.  But more than the outward, public displays of patriotism is the quiet, resolute, deep and abiding belief each of us hold that this nation of ours, founded upon the principals of democracy, equality and justice for all, is the strongest beacon of light shining in a world darkened by tyranny, hatred, and injustice.  Our strength, indeed, the very essence of America cannot be found in a single political stance, religion, race, or national origin.  America is an idea; it is the fundamental truth that we are all created equal and that we all have the freedom and the ability to achieve whatever success we chose to work toward.  We are united in our love of America. 

 

We are also united in our anger and sadness at the unparalleled act of terrorism that was visited upon us September 11.  In the span of a few hours, those who sought to terrorize us into submission instead unleashed the true might and power of America.  That might and power is our love of life; as displayed by the heroic firemen, police, and ordinary citizens who fought so valiantly to save others.  That might and power is our love for each other; as demonstrated by the outpouring of sympathy and assistance for the victims of the attack.  That might and power is our love of justice; as demonstrated by our united, furious, determination to fight this terror until it is wiped from the face of the earth.  We are united by September 11.

 

Finally, we are united in honoring these men and women with us today and those who are fighting around the world.  From the beaches of Normandy, to the Leyte Gulf; from Hamburger Hill to Inchon; from Saigon to Que Son, you personified courage and honor.  Your service in the past is what enables us to enjoy the lives we now live in the present, and will live in the future.  Performing for you today are our children and your grandchildren. I ask those children to look upon this stage and understand that the men and women we are honoring today were their age once.  These men and women played games, had boyfriends or girlfriends, and dreamed about their futures.  But their nation needed them to go to war and they put away their youth and postponed their dreams so that you and I could live in peace and freedom.  They came face to face with the evil of their time and did not stand down until that evil was vanquished.  They are veterans of the armed forces of the United States of America.  Look upon them with honor and respect.  The blood, sweat, and tears they shed for your freedom demand nothing less.

 

Ladies and Gentlemen, thank you for your service and sacrifices for your country.  God bless you, God bless the men and women serving in foreign lands today, and God bless the United States of America.

 

Last modified:  October 29, 2010  

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