For generations, Americans have followed in the footsteps of their predecessors who blazed a trail of self-reliance to raise standards of living, to pursue achievement that knows no boundaries and to pledge allegiance to the rights and responsibilities of self-government. America has outlasted regional, cultural, political, religious, racial and social differences because we are united by the timeless principles on which our nation was founded and which are embodied by the Constitution. Ours is the first constitution based on the principle that we the people are sovereign with unalienable rights endowed by our Creator, delegating to our government only such power as necessary to secure these rights. Such a founding is exceptional in human history. We are a nation built to last on the enduring principles the Founders “brought forth on this continent” that have served America for more than two centuries.
President Lincoln needed only two minutes in his Gettysburg Address to remind Americans about our shared destiny. He called upon his fellow citizens to “take increased devotion to that cause for which (soldiers) gave the last full measure of devotion.”
From this Veterans Day to the next 11th of November – including each day in between and beyond – let’s carry on that exceptional legacy of the American spirit. Just as President Lincoln paid tribute to the idea of America’s exceptionalism, let us honor our men and women in uniform who have answered the call to serve and defend America’s freedom and individual liberty, especially those who have lost life and limb in the fullest measure of devotion to our country.