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Veterans Day, 2006:

Through the generations, America's men and women in uniform have defeated tyrants, liberated continents, and set a standard of courage and idealism for the entire world. On Veterans Day, our Nation pays tribute to those who have proudly served in our Armed Forces.

To protect the Nation they love, our veterans stepped forward when America needed them most. In conflicts around the world, their sacrifice and resolve helped destroy the enemies of freedom and saved millions from oppression. In answering history's call with honor, decency, and resolve, our veterans have shown the power of liberty and earned the respect and admiration of a grateful Nation.

All of America's veterans have placed our Nation's security before their own lives, creating a debt that we can never fully repay. Our veterans represent the best of America, and they deserve the best America can give them.

As we recall the service of our Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, and Coast Guardsmen, we are reminded that the defense of freedom comes with great loss and sacrifice. This Veterans Day, we give thanks to those who have served freedom's cause; we salute the members of our Armed Forces who are confronting our adversaries abroad; and we honor the men and women who left America's shores but did not live to be thanked as veterans. They will always be remembered by our country.

With respect for and in recognition of the contributions our service men and women have made to the cause of peace and freedom around the world, the Congress has provided (5 U.S.C. 6103(a)) that November 11 of each year shall be set aside as a legal public holiday to honor veterans.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim November 11, 2006, as Veterans Day and urge all Americans to observe November 5 through November 11, 2006, as National Veterans Awareness Week. I encourage all Americans to recognize the valor and sacrifice of our veterans through ceremonies and prayers. I call upon Federal, State, and local officials to display the flag of the United States and to support and participate in patriotic activities in their communities. I invite civic and fraternal organizations, places of worship, schools, businesses, unions, and the media to support this national observance with commemorative expressions and programs.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this thirty-first day of October, in the year of our Lord two thousand six, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-first.

GEORGE W. BUSH


Remarks by the President on Veterans Day
11 November 2006
11:39 A.M. EST

PRESIDENT BUSH: Thank you. Thanks for coming. Secretary Nicholson, thank you for your kind words and for your leadership. Members of the Cabinet, Members of Congress, members of the United State military, all veterans, all volunteers who have sworn to uphold the security of the United States, I thank your families for being here and I thank our veterans. I am proud to join you on this day of honor.

On this day, in this month, at this hour, our nation remembers the moment when the guns of World War I went silent -- and we recognize the service and the sacrifice of our nation's veterans. From Valley Forge to Vietnam, from Kuwait to Kandahar, from Berlin to Baghdad, our veterans have borne the costs of America's wars -- and they have stood watch over America's peace. The American people are grateful to the veterans and all who have fought for our freedom.

Since the presidency of Abraham Lincoln, the National Cemetery has reminded our citizens of the cost of liberty. The simple white markers testify to honor fulfilled and duty served. Most of these markers stand over graves of Americans who came home to enjoy the peace they earned. Too many stand over the graves of those who gave their lives to protect that peace. This day is dedicated to all who answered the call to service -- whether they live in honor among us, or sleep in valor beneath this sacred ground.

On this Veterans Day, we give thanks for the 24 million Americans who strengthen our nation with their example of service and sacrifice. Our veterans are drawn from many generations and from many backgrounds. Some charged across great battlefields. Some fought on the high seas. Some patrolled the open skies. And all contributed to the character and to the greatness of America.

On this Veterans Day, we honor a new generation of men and women who are defending our freedom. Since September the 11th, 2001, our Armed Forces have engaged the enemy, the terrorists on many fronts. At this moment, more than 1.4 million Americans are on active duty, serving in the cause of freedom and peace around the world. They are our nation's finest citizens. (Applause.) They confront grave danger to defend the safety of the American people. They've brought down tyrants, they've liberated two nations, they have helped bring freedom to more than 50 million people. Through their sacrifice, they're making this nation safer and more secure -- and they are earning the proud title of veteran.

On this Veterans Day, we're humbled by the strong hearts of those who have served. Last week, Secretary Nicholson told me about a visit he made to New York City where he met a group of veterans who lost limbs in this war. Secretary Nicholson asked them how they could keep their spirits up. One man answered, "Sir, it is because we feel the American people are so appreciative of our service." Many of our veterans bear the scars of their service to our country - and we are a nation that will keep its commitments to those who have risked their lives for our freedom. That young man was right -- we do appreciate the service of those who wear our uniform.

To help Americans show our appreciation to those who have served, Secretary Nicholson has asked all our nation's veterans to wear their medals today. I urge our citizens to go up to those men and women and shake a hand and give a hug, and give a word of thanks. I ask you to consider volunteering at a veterans hospital or a nursing home. I encourage you to work with your local veterans group to help support our troops in the field -- and their families here at home.

As we raise our flag and as the bugle sounds taps, we remember that the men and women of America's Armed Forces serve a great cause. They follow in a great tradition, handed down to them by America's veterans. And in public ceremonies and in private prayer, we give thanks for the freedom we enjoy because of their willingness to serve.

I thank you for honoring those who serve today, and for honoring those who have set such a sterling example -- our nation's veterans. May God bless our veterans, may God bless all who wear the uniform, and may God continue to bless the United State of America.

Veterans Day At Arlington National Cemetery: November 2006
Visitors to Arlington National Cemetery watch the Presidential motorcade pass at
Arlington Cemetery on Veterans day November 11, 2006.

Veterans Day At ANC November 2006 PHOTO
President George W. Bush (C) walks to a ceremony where he lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at
Arlington National Cemetery near Washington on Veterans Day November 11, 2006.

Veterans Day 2006: Arlington National Cemetery PHOTO
President Bush lays a wreath at Arlington National Cemetery in honor
of Veterans Day in Arlington,Virginia., Saturday, November 11, 2006

Veterans Day 2006: Arlington National Cemetery PHOTO
U.S. President George W. Bush (C) lays at a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at
Arlington National Cemetery near Washington on Veterans Day November 11, 2006

Veterans Day 2006 At Arlington National Cemetery

Veterans Day 2006: Arlington National Cemetery PHOTO
U.S. President George W. Bush (L) lays at a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at
Arlington National Cemetery near Washington on Veterans Day November 11, 2006

Veterans Day At ANC November 2006 PHOTO
President George W. Bush places a wreath at the tomb of the Unknown Soldier on Veterans Day at Arlington Cemetery.
Veterans Day, previously known as Armistice Day, started when WWI ended and eventually became a national
holiday and the name was changed to Veterans Day to honor all U.S. Military veterans

Veterans Day At ANC November 2006 PHOTO
U.S. President George W. Bush (L) pays his respects after laying a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown
Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery near Washington on Veterans Day November 11, 2006.

Veterans Day 2006 At Arlington National Cemetery
President George W. Bush is joined by Major General Guy Swan III, Commander of the Joint Force Headquarters National Capital
Region & U.S. Army Military District of Washington, during the Veteranís Day ceremonies Saturday, Nov. 11, 2006, at Arlington National Cemetery

Veterans Day At ANC November 2006 PHOTO
 President George W. Bush (C) is acknowledged by Veterans Affairs Secretary James Nicholson (R) and Tom Poulter (L),
National Commander of the Military Order of the Purple Heart, as he arrives for the Veterans Day observance at Arlington
National Cemetery.

Veterans Day At ANC November 2006 PHOTO
President Bush greets actor Gary Sinise during a Veterans Days ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery

Veterans Day At ANC November 2006 PHOTO

Veterans Day 2006 At Arlington National Cemetery
President George W. Bush speaks during the Veterans Day observance at Arlington National Cemetery, November 11, 2006.
Also pictured are Veterans Affairs Secretary James Nicholson (L), actor and event emcee Gary Sinise (2nd R) and U.S. Army
General Guy C. Swann (R), Commander of the Military District of Washington.

Veterans Day 2006: Arlington National Cemetery PHOTO
President Bush speaks during the Veterans Day commemoration at
Arlington National Cemetery, Saturday, Nov. 11, 2006.
 

Posted: 11 November 2006 Updaed: 18 Novembr 2006