Governor Abbott Honors Veterans, Addresses Veterans Day Parade
AUSTIN - Governor Greg Abbott today delivered remarks following the conclusion of the Veterans Day Parade down South Congress Avenue. Speaking at the Texas Capitol in Austin, Governor Abbott took the opportunity to thank all men and women in uniform for their service and remind those in attendance to proudly honor and show gratitude for our veterans this Veterans Day.
“It’s an honor to be with you on Veterans Day. America is the brightest beacon of freedom the world has ever known for one simple reason - our veterans - the men and women who put service above self,” Governor Abbott said. “Today we honor those who fought for our freedom, those who forsake the comforts of family and home to protect the American way. If you know someone who has served or is serving, if you know the family of a service member, do not waste any moment. Thank them for their service. May God bless each and every one of you. And may God forever bless the United States of America.”
Governor Abbott’s Veterans Day Remarks:
**Gov. Abbott often deviates from prepared remarks.
Thank you honored guests and fellow Texans.
It’s an honor to be with you on Veterans Day. America is the brightest beacon of freedom the world has ever known for one simple reason - our veterans - the men and women who put service above self.
It’s fitting that we end today’s parade here at the steps of our Capitol - a battleground of democracy. The people who made that democratic process possible, the people who ensured we have the freedom to fight about ideas are the men and women who’ve worn the uniform of the U.S. Military.
We are so grateful to all of those who have served and to the families who stood by their sides. My brother, who served in the U.S. Navy for 20 years, is one of the many proud veterans in Texas.
We proudly honor our veterans today. But we know that a single day of pomp and parade is inadequate to truly repay the debt of gratitude we owe. The truth is, Americans should say thank you every day.
My proudest moments as governor have come when recognizing the men and women worn in uniform. At my State of the State address, I recognized the oldest living veteran from World War II - Richard Overton, age 109. A few weeks ago, I awarded the Texas Purple Heart to 4 soldiers wounded in Egypt. This summer, I presented the highest military honor awarded by the state - the Texas Medal of Honor - to the families of two great Texans.
Lieutenant Colonel Ed Dyess (the man after whom the Air Force Base in Abilene is named) and Chief Petty Officer Chris Kyle (the man known as the American Sniper) shared a common bond of uncommon valor. Though separated by decades from World War II to the battlefields of Iraq, theirs was the same cause fought for by the men and women we honor today. It’s the cause fought for by Americans since the day our country began - freedom.
There is an arc in the story of America and it bends toward freedom. From Valley Forge to Vicksburg, from the Civil War to Civil Rights, from the Cold War to the War on Terror, Americans always remember that freedom is worth fighting for.
Today we honor those who fought for that freedom, those who forsake the comforts of family and home to protect the American Way. Those who sacrificed so much and ask for nothing in return other than respect for the freedom they fought for. And we will never forget those who never came home, who offered their lives on the altar of freedom.
I’ll end with a story about a visit I had to the DFW National Cemetery. The director told me that as he laid each soldier to rest, he wished he could reach out and shake their hand in gratitude for what they’ve done. But you can’t. It’s too late. So take every opportunity you get to thank a soldier before it’s too late.
If you know someone who has served or is serving, if you know the family of a service member, do not waste any moment. Thank them for their service. May God bless each and every one of you. And may God forever bless the United States of America.