Since our nation's inception, nearly 50 million men and women have stepped forward and taken great risks to ensure our safety, defend our land, and preserve our way of life. Today, there are more than 24 million living veterans who served our Nation in times of peace and war, and 2.5 million men and women serving in active and reserve duty throughout the nation and the world. This year, we once again honor their service with the celebration of Veteran's Day.
Since the horrific attacks of September 11, 2001, the men and women of America's armed services have defended our nation by fighting for freedom throughout the world, because free nations do not breed resentment and export terror. Thanks to the valiant efforts of the U.S. military, more than 50 million people in Iraq and Afghanistan are now free, and our nation is safer because of it.
Veterans have made huge sacrifices in defending our nation - spending time away from family, friends, and the comfort of their homes. Others have made great sacrifices on the battlefield, coming home with injuries and lost friends. On Veterans Day, let us pause to reflect on the sacrifices of those who have served our nation. Let us honor our veterans, who proved their heroism and love of country time and again, from Yorktown and Gettysburg to Iwo Jima and the Persian Gulf. They consistently defended our ideals across the globe; and they continue to inspire those who defend America today. We can never adequately repay them for their service, but our Nation will forever be grateful for their noble sacrifices.
Today, let us take time to appreciate the sacrifices of the Veterans in our lives. I know that many of you may have a veteran in your family, or as a friend, neighbor, or co-worker. Please take a moment of your day to thank our Veterans for their bravery and sacrifice. Thanks to them, our generation and those who follow will have the opportunity to live the American Dream.
This Veteran's Day may God bless all those who have served our country, and may God continue to bless the United States of America.
We encourage everyone that is serving in the military or close with someone in active duty to visit the Soldiers' and Sailors' relief act page (http://www.hud.gov/offices/hsg/sfh/faqs/qasscra1.cfm) for information, or call HUD's Veterans Resource Center toll free at (800) 998-9999 [TDD: (800) 483-2209].