tv Vice President Delivers Remarks at Arlington National Cemetery CSPAN November 11, 2022 8:08pm-9:03pm EST
we invite you into this sacred space where we gather in community on the hallowed ground of the memorial amphitheater to acknowledge, activate -- to honor, to remember and express attitude for those who have served in the armed forces to defend the higher ideas of america's promise, of the unfettered value of human dignity and striving. in the pursuit and attainment of freedom, equality, and justice for all people. they have selflessly stood watch from generation to generation fr om sea to shininng sea and abroad, in the still of the night and the deadliest of storms via air, land, sea and space to ensure the hope of the city on the hill to be realized
in the least and the greatest. they're called to duty did not come without sacrifice, and to be you that you are the god of infinite interconnection who knows each veteran and their families by name and to whom you have issued your own promise to never leave or forsake. you are a god that not only sees their woundedness and cares there christ by the god of devoted action who heals in the darkest moments in the anguish of those who get very the visible and invisible wounds of war. you are the god who visits where the secrets of the heart resides. you are the god who is was as the wailing wall's writing comfort to those who mourn the loss of their angels, who have paid the ultimate sacrifice for a grateful nation. god, today, we pray that the
sacrifices of our veterans serve as a beacon for every individual to take personal account, a responsibility for the preservation of this great experiment called democracy, the uplift of the sovereign nation and the human flourishing of all of its inhabitants. now, may god bless the veteran service organization to champion the cause of veterans and remind us that no person is left behind. the families and caregivers of our veterans to companion at them in their journey, and the department of veteran affairs safely bind the wounds of military service and facilitate the mental, physical, and spiritual well-being of all veterans. finally, it may god bless each of you, and may god bless the united states of america. >> amen. >> not i would like to invite
the national president of vietnam veterans of america to lead us in the pledge of allegiance. protocol for this occasion is to stand and place your hand over your heart or render a hand salute. >> i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under god, indivisible with liberty and justice for all. >> please be seated. it is now up distinct privilege to introduce the members of the veterans day national committee. the committee was formed by presidential order in 1954 to plan this and observance in honors of america's veterans and
to support a observances throughout the nation. please hold your applause until i have introduced each special guest. if you are able, please stand it your name is called. >> mr. jack mcmannis. mr. timothy borland, commander-in-chief, veterans of foreign wars of the united states. mr. james robbins junior, national president sleep reserves has. mr. don mclean, national commander and event. ms. arlene baker, national commander, army and navy union, united states of america. retired united states navy fleet mastered chief paul kingsbury,
president of the noncommissioned officers association of the united states. ms. patricia harris, national vice commander, american legion. mr. chris desnik, national commander, military order of the purple heart. retired united states marine corps sergeant major johnny baker, national commandant and ceo marine corps league. retired united states army chaplain brigadier general robert pleskowsky. retired united states marine corps corporal charles brown, national president, paralyzed veterans of america. mr. donald marks, national
adjutant, legion of valor of the united states. retired united states army lieutenant colonel michael a o akden, commander-in-chief, military order of the world wars. retired united states chief petty officer deborah elchick, national president, the retired and listed association. mr. brian packer, dz agent and medal of honor recipient, congressional medal of honor society of the united states. mr. joe parsetic,, national commander disabled veteran association. jim o'brien, executive president , military officer association of america.
commander christie purdy, chair, board of directors, commissioned officers association of the u.s. public health service. retired united states air force chief master sergeant gary wright, international president, air force sergeant association. mr. michael stetts, national commander, polish legion of american veterans. mr. jeffrey bordeur, national president korean war veterans association of the united states. mr. louise vasquez, national commander, american g.i. forum of the united states. mr. joseph mcneil senior, national president, blinded veterans association. mr. nelson mullis, national
commander, jewish war veterans of the united states of america. the associate and emeritus members of the committee are located to my front right. i would like to ask the president and national commanders who comprise our associates and emeritus membership to stand and be recognized. ladies and gentlemen, please join me in recognizing our veterans national leadership with your applause. [applause] it is now my pleasure to introduce the executive director, the national military cemetery and office of military sarah and terry's -- military cemeteries, ms. karen aguilera.
[applause] >> good morning, what a beautiful day. every day is a beautiful day at arlington national cemetery. on a bath of the secretary of the army and the dedicated men and women who served here, welcome to arlington national cemetery. i would especially like to extend a warm welcome to madame vice president kamala harris. thank you for being with us and honoring our nation's veterans. i welcome the secretary of veteran affairs, jack mcmannis, the secretary of defense honorable lloyd austin, the german of the joint chief of staff's and do are dignitaries, cabinet secretary, service secretary, service chiefs, veterans, families, and everyone watching across our great nation, thank you.
thank you for being with us today. i can think of no better place to honor our veterans then here at the very center of our nation's most hallowed ground. we gather to recognize the honor, integrity, duty, courage, it patriotism of our service members past and present. while today is a day of remembrance, it is also a day of celebration. at arlington national cemetery we have a sacred obligation to care for our veterans and their final place of rest. we also hold a great honor and responsibility of sharing their story and educating future generations about the services and sacrifices. it veterans have shaped the history of our nation. at arlington national cemetery we probably and humbly treat every day like veterans day. these grounds represent the lives of over 400,000 soldiers, sailors, airmen, coast guard
men, space force and family who have served in times of both peace and war. the theme for veterans day this year is honor, and everything we do here on these rounds intends to honor and remember our nation's veterans. at arlington national cemetery we worked every day to honor our veterans in yard -- enured here by educating and providing interpretation of the senator's rich history both in person and virtually and by the gunners we haven't started for an veterans were funeral services and at the tome of the unknown soldier. those who serve or are currently serving in our country here in any capacity, you are seen, you are celebrated, and you are recognized for your contributions. you are one of the courageous few who raised her right hand and answer the call. we are forever indebted to you.
i would also like to thank spouses, parents, family members and the goldstar community for your tireless maven in supporting our service members. today and every day for over 158 years arlington national cemetery is honor to serve our veterans and families on these hallowed grounds. we are a great people entering service and sacrifice to a grateful nation. military people and families are its greatest strength. no place in arlington can be purchased. veterans, the state and every day here at arlington national cemetery belongs to you. thank you again, and welcome to arlington national cemetery. [applause]
council coordinates activities of local chapters in 48 states, puerto rico, guam, and the u.s. virgin islands. the organization's ambitious agenda has always aim to find creative, responsive solutions to concerns of vietnam era veterans well at the same time fulfilling the vietnam veterans of america founding principal that never again will one generation of veterans abandon another. if veterans of america will always work to make sure that those who serve our nation to receive the care and treatment they have earned. the vietnam veterans of america is represented today by their national president. ladies and gentlemen, please welcome mr. jack mcmannis. [applause] >> thank you. madam vice president, first
lady, dr. biden, mr. secretary, chaplain, distinguished guests and my fellow veterans, it is a great privilege were vietnam veterans of america to serve as the host at the arlington national cemetery 69th commemorative celebration of veterans day. in our speak, vietnam veterans speak, come home. today we recognize 19 million living veterans of soldiers, sailors, airmen, guardians, marine, coast guard to whom we owe a great debt of gratitude for the freedoms we have as a nation. we remember and honor our heroes who made the ultimate sacrifice
in the name of liberty and justice. and we honor their spouses, parents, survivors, many of whom are with us here today. to our comrades who remain missing in action, we remain true to our solemn promise to bring you home. may god bless you and your families. we have come a long way when the vietnam vets added start. as members, chapters work toward in their communities and with their legislators to ensure that all veterans received the respect and gratitude that they so rightly deserved. we have lived up to our finding principal, never again will one generation of veterans abandon another. we are especially proud to see
that our fight to change the public perception of vietnam veterans is paid off, and that our newest generation of veterans are coming home to a warm welcome from a very supportive country. thank you. [applause] based upon the distinction in time and location at the expense of another veteran's equally honorable service is an injustice to all veterans. could we really believe that the veterans lost in the beirut barracks or at the embassy in benghazi were any less of a sacrifice than those lost in the fallujah were vietnam -- or
vietnam? if our nation and all of its institutions had simply recognized my generation of veterans as deserving of the honor and distinction of being recognized as an american veteran, as were previous veterans, other than the hostilities began before us, it is likely it never would have become into existence. as vietnam veterans report from the diseases and maladies of ancient orange, we are ecstatic with the recent passage of the pact act,, the most cooperative bill to address the health effects of military toxic exposures. we do know this adage to be true, the willingness for which
our young men and women are likely to serve in any war is directly proportional to how they perceive the veterans in the past and today are treated and depreciated by the nation. we have come a long way. much remains to be done. the future of our nation is depended upon the young women and men who raise their hands to uphold the constitution of the united states. there is little to be angry or little to complain about now with the bay that veterans are treated by our nation, and that is largely because of the way our leadership treats us and how the department of veterans
affairs has become so transparent and so efficient because of the leadership of their secretary. it is my honor to introduce the secretary of the department and of veteran affairs. [applause] >> jack, thank you very, very much. madame vice president, mr. emhoff, secretary austin intimates from the cabinet, most of all, veterans, your families, caregivers, survivors. good morning, everybody. thank you for joining our country's annual veterans day celebration. today is a day to honor veterans , remember all that they have done for our nation.
for each of us to reflect on those heroes still missing in action. heroes whom we have met, we loved, longed for and hope to see come home, and soon. and recognize that when veteran serve, their families, their caregivers, survivors sacrifice right alongside them. veterans day is something more. a call to action for each of us to serve best, every bit as well as they have served us. on veterans day, indeed, every day, because as president biden has said and reminded us again this morning, veterans are the very backbone of this country. they put profit and
self-interest aside. they put their lives on the line so that the highest ideals of this nation, our core values might continue. and the thing is, veterans do not only keep those ideals alive by serving our country in uniform and funding nation's wars. they also do it long after the last bullet has been fired by serving with steadfast courage and selflessness like the selflessness of the vietnam vets of america that just talked about right here at home. think about it. when our country needed someone to finally break the color barrier in a major league baseball, it was lieutenant jack robinson who did it. with this talent only exceeded by his courage, discipline, and
determination. our country needed to win the space race. it was lieutenant neil armstrong who planted his foot on the moon in a giant leap for this nation and for all of mankind. when our country needed to heal after vietnam, it was corporal scruggs who created the vietnam veterans memorial wall and help open the nation's hearts to the heroic service of jack and his fellow vietnam vets. when our country needed for the first time to embrace the needs and challenges of disabled american kids, it was a world war ii veteran dr. samuel kirk, a father of special education who lead that gastric change. and when needed to be educated
on the effects of toxic exposure on the battlefield, specialist kelly kennedy told human stories of suffering service members, veterans, and families, including the 11 families are headed about over breakfast this morning so that we would not forget. those stories, those events, -- vets, robinson, armstrong, kurt -- kirk, kennedy. there are many veterans who are like them that we may not know whose impact resonates across the country. when the country needs something difficult on -- difficult done, when we need to do the hard thing, the right thing, so often it is veterans to answer the call.
whether defending our nation over seas were strengthening the fabric of our communities here at home, there honorable service, your honorable service in uniform set the example for the rest of the country. they are the character -- caretakers are national ethers, that deep and abiding sense of purpose they learned in serving. their camaraderie, their determination, their sense of teamwork at that made them stronger together in combat and now our communities. that is exactly what we need today. camaraderie, truth, togetherness, true service, true patriotism, because we are indeed all stronger when we are together, when we are one. simply put, through the service,
selflessness veterans teach us, remind us what it really means to be an american. and something all of us, each of us can learn from. and for that, we are forever in your debt. madame vice president, lester at the celebration of america you reinforce that ethers that veterans exemplified. you encouraged us to believe in what we can do together, and with your and president biden's leadership, your and his tireless advocacy, this country together is doing so much for veterans. we are grateful for your leadership, for your unrelenting advocacy on behalf of veterans, their families, their caregivers, their survivors. with that, it is my great honor to introduce the vice president
of the united states of america, kamala harris. [applause] vp harris: thank you. good morning. secretary mcdonough, i think for the work you've been doing. first lady dr. jill biden, second gentleman, doug emhoff, secretary lloyd austin and the members of our cabinet, general mark milley and service chiefs, leaders and members of veterans service organizations and all of the distinguished guests. good morning and thank you. it is particular to our veterans, service members, families, caregivers, and
survivors. it is a profound privilege to think and honor you today and every day. we gather to pay homage to all of those who have served our nation in uniform at home and overseas in times of war and in times of peace. generations of veterans defended our country and our most sacred values from the seals of yorktown to the trenches, from the beaches of normandy, to the banks of the chosen reservoir in the streets of saigon, from baghdad to fallujah to kandahar, you stood as one to protect our democracy and our freedoms.
and even when you return home and took off your uniform, you continue to serve and to lead communities across our country. veterans, after all, are nurses and firefighters, little league coaches, small business owners, leaders and elected officials, mentors, and teachers. every day through your life's work and your example, you make america stronger. [applause] on veterans day we come together as a nation then to express our profound gratitude for all you have done and continue to do.
here on hallowed ground, we also remember those who gave their lives for our nation. we remember our service members who have not yet returned and their families, and we reaffirm our commitment to bring home all of those missing in action. veterans represent the best of america. unwavering courage, unmatched talent, and unshakable devotion. you come from every corner of our country, and out of many you become one, the greatest fighting force in the world. [applause]
as vice president, aboard ships in the in the pacific, in korea, in florida, and on nato's eastern flank, i have seen firsthand how america's armed forces protect the highest ideals of our nation around the world. since 1789, american service members have sworn an oath not to a person, not to a party, but to the constitution of the united states, to support and defend the principles of liberty, equality, and justice.
to preserve and protect our democracy. veterans, you are the ones who answer the call, and in so doing you left off to the people you love and the place to call home. you missed birthdays, holidays, and graduations. some of you first met your newborn baby on a video chat. you risked everything and you gave up so much to safeguard the lives and the liberty of people whom you may never meet. to be a veteran is to have truly known the true cost of freedom, and to have a born it -- borne it for all of us. that is a debt that must always be remembered, and i believe it
is a debt we must all work to repay. [applause] back when i was attorney general of california and then as you can meditate senator we fight to protect the health and well-being of our veterans and servicemembers, and as vice president i am proud to serve alongside one of the greatest champions of our nation's warriors, our president, joe biden. [applause] president biden and i believe that as americans we have a sacred obligation to take care of our veterans and our military families. fulfilling that obligation means making sure veterans can access
the support and the resources they need to thrive. for example, it has meant connecting thousands of veterans with job training to help them leverage the skills and experience they gained while serving, to build a new career and to strengthen america's workforce. fulfilling that obligation also means taking on veterans' homelessness. this year alone we have placed 31,000 veterans in permanent housing, and we are on track to house thousands more by years end. [applause] taking care of our veterans also means taking care of those who love them, because while our veterans wore the uniform, they were not the only ones who served. and no one understands that
better than dr. jill biden. her leadership of joining forces, dr. biden fights for military families, caregivers, and survivors, and dr. biden, our nation uploads your extraordinary work -- applauds your extraordinary work. [applause] and taking care of our veterans means making sure that they receive benefits that they have rightly earned. since we took office, we have worked to reduce the v.a. claims backlog by upgrading technology, hiring more claims processes and streamlining evaluations, and as a result this year and under the leadership of the secretary, we
have processed more v.a. claims than ever before in history. [applause] and we also came together, democrats and republicans, to support millions of veterans exposed to toxic substances while working and living near burn pits and other dangerous environments. the pact act is the most significant expansion of health care benefits were -- for veterans and their survivors in three decades, and it was fast because of the leadership of our president i do because of so many of you, and we are indebted to you for that hard work and success. [applause] so a few months ago, i received a letter from lieutenant akers.
the lieutenant wrote about a friend and a fellow sailor, lieutenant chris reed. he served our nation in afghanistan and iraq, and he worked as a navy eod officer near a burn pit. tragically, lieutenant reed passed away in 2018 from leukemia. he is buried here in arlington, section 60, plot 118514. lieutenant akers fought for the pact act. he advocated, testified, and thanks to him and so many veterans like him, our nation is one step closer to living up to our highest ideals. so all of that to say, america
is a promise. a promise of security, opportunity, and freedom. not for some, but for all. on veterans day, we celebrate the generations of americans who fought to make that promise real , and we recognize to truly honor our veterans, we must come together as a nation to defend that promise too. so on that point, i will conclude by sharing the words of private first class abe lory, one of the many veterans joining us today. [applause]
so abe served our nation in world war ii. he was a member of the 58th qm sail company of the united states army. from 1943 until 1946, abe traveled across england, france, and belgium going from camp to camp to outfit the men and women fighting to free europe and the world. in his travels, abe met thousands of americans. they came from towns and cities he had never heard of, and to get -- yet, as he tells it, even if they only crossed paths for a moment, abe felt a connection
with each, and he said, and i am quoting you, abe, he said in the service we were one people. one people. [applause] e pluribus unum, out of many one, and that is the story of our armed forces, and it is the story of our nation. that is who we are. that is who we must be. one nation united for liberty, united for equality, united or democracy. one nation united to preserve and strengthen the freedoms our
veterans gave so much to defend. may god bless you, and may god bless the united states of america. [applause] >> ladies and gentlemen, please remain standing and joined the meditate navy band chorus and singing god bless america -- in singing "god bless america." >> ♪ god bless america land that i love stand beside her and guide her thru the night
>> this concludes 2022 national veterans day observance. please remain standing for the departure of the vice president of the united states and the official party. thank you for joining us today to celebrate and honor all who served. [applause] >> ukrainian president delivered remarks about the importance of
protecting human democracy after receiving the liberty matter -- liberty metal. the award on only -- annually honors people. we'll have a speech free saturday night, starting at eight eastern on c-span. ♪ >> c-span is your culture view of government. including turkey indications. >> broadband is a force for empowerment. that is why charter has invested billions. upgrading technology, empowering opportunity, in communities big and small. charter is conneing us. >> carter support c-span is a public service, along with these other telephone -- providers. >> this veterans day