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Secretary Wilkie’s Message on 2020 Veterans Day

Veterans Day 2020: “Ronald Reagan said on Veterans Day in 1988 …” We remember those who were called upon to give everything an individual might give, and we remember those who were prepared to make the sacrifice if they were asked to do so in line of duty. We recall, most of all, the zeal and gallantry with which they all ennobled their country as champions of a noble cause. We recall, most of all, the zeal and gallantry with which they all ennobled their country as champions of a noble cause.  Every Veterans Day is a commemoration set aside to remember those who, in peace and war, have protected our country.

We pause to focus on American veterans on November 11th, men and women who have served and sacrificed while wearing the Nation’s uniforms, ordinary Americans doing exemplary service.

 

In March of 1864, Abraham Lincoln reminded the nation of the sacrifices veterans make for us all, after nearly three years of horrific combat in the Civil War … “All that a man has he will give his life for his people …” The soldier puts his life at risk, always giving it up for the sake of his country. The soldier’s greatest honor, then, is due.

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That “best merit” demonstration has now spanned 244 years, focused on a single, enduring concept of Liberty and Justice for All.

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Veterans Day 2020: Every American is a beneficiary of the vigilance and courage of veterans, and their sacrifices are incalculable to our way of life. Every day is Veterans Day at the Veterans Affairs Department. We have the privilege of working to repay, in full, the debt of gratitude of our country … to the veterans who were there when we needed them most. In providing those veterans with the programs and services they received, we represent our grateful country.

In doing so, we retain confidence in President Lincoln ‘s commitment to “care for him who will bear the war, and for his widow, and his orphan,” which he vowed in his famous second inaugural address. We recall and praise all “champions of a noble cause” on Veterans Day 2020 … and promise never to forget the sacrifices they made for us.

On behalf of VA’s more than 415,000 staff, I am proud to extend to American veterans the sincere gratitude and thanks of our department for your service in the United States Armed Forces formations.

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