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Acknowledging Those Who Gave The Most

By Assemblymember Jean Fuller


When America was engaged in armed conflict with foreign powers, men like General Andrew Jackson at the Battle of New Orleans in the War of 1812, and Theodore Roosevelt in the Spanish-American War, helped rally our troops and our nation to stand firm and bring our country together.

"Peace, freedom and justice must be won again and again by each successive generation." - Ronald Reagan
When we were attacked on our soil at Pearl Harbor during World War II, the members of the Greatest Generation rose to the occasion and waged a battle between good and evil that was perhaps our country's finest triumph.

On November 11, 1919, President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed the first Armistice Day and made the following declaration: "To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country's service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the council of the nations." In the years following President Wilson's proclamation, conflict after conflict continued to face the United States, and more and more citizens were valiantly serving their country. In light of those events, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed legislation changing the name of the holiday from Armistice Day to Veteran's Day, acknowledging that it was the veterans of each era who fought to secure the blessings of liberty.

On Veteran's Day, we offer our thanks and remembrance for America's great gift of freedom, and the brave men and women who so unselfishly fought to protect it: our veterans. We remember the veteran as our most noble example of selflessness and as the ultimate provider of our liberty.

President Ronald Reagan once said, "Peace, freedom and justice must be won again and again by each successive generation." I believe President Reagan's words ring true today, as our brave men and women in the military have been called upon again to serve abroad in defense of the people of the United States.

As we sleep each night in our comfortable homes and live safe and free, there are roughly 150,000 U.S. soldiers fighting for freedom in Iraq and Afghanistan. Regardless of your political leanings, we must support and respect their gallant efforts to deliver a people from tyranny.

On Veteran's Day, I would like to honor our fallen soldiers, and thank the 25 million living veterans across this nation for their courage under fire, their unbelievable strength, and the countless sacrifices they made so we could be free. And let us remember that freedom is not free.

Assemblymember Fuller represents the 32nd Assembly District, which includes Bakersfield, Ridgecrest, Tehachapi, Taft, Kern River Valley and the Frazier Mountain communities.

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