tv Vice President Delivers Remarks at Arlington National Cemetery CSPAN November 12, 2022 12:32am-1:28am EST
>> please remain stating -- standing for the precession of our nations colors and are those of our veterans service organizations. as we march on the colors, and the united states navy band will play the national emblem march. please place your hands over your heart and have a reserve hedge salute. ♪ -- hand salute. ♪
>> ladies and gentlemen. please remain standing for the invitation -- a vacation given by the chaplain, executive director of the national chaplain service the u.s. department of veterans affairs. >> good morning. let us pray. most gracious and eternal god, we invite you into this sacred space where we gather in community on the hello grounds of the memorial amphitheater to acknowledge, honor, to remember and express gratitude to 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.
the pursuit and attainment of freedom, equality and justice for all. they selflessly spilt labs for generation to generation. to sea to shining sea and abroad. in the still of the night and the deadliest of storms. the air, land, sea and space. to ensure the hope on the city of the hill could be realized and the least and greatest that the duty did not come without sacrifice. we thank you, that you are the god of infinite connection. who knows each veteran and you have family by name and to whom you have issued your own promise to never leave nor forsake. you are god that not only's cease their woundedness and hears the cries, but a god of devoted action who heals even in
the darkest moments of the anguish of those who carry the visible and invisible wounds of war. you are the god that visits the harbor or the secrets of the heart reside. you are the god who swells at the well and will providing comfort to those who mourn the loss of their missing angels. who 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 and responsibility for the preservation of this great experiment called democracy. the op life this hibernation and flourishing of its inhabitants. now, may god bless and the veterans service organizations, champion the cause of veterans. and remind us that no person is
left behind. the families and caregivers of our veterans to companion them in their journey. the department of veterans affairs faithfully binds the wounds of military service and facilitates the mental, physical and spiritual well-being of all veterans. finally god lets each of you -- bless each of you and the united states of america. >> i would like to invite mr. jack mcmahon and, national representative of vietnam veteran and america to lead us in the pledge of allegiance. protocol is to stand and place your hand over your heart, or render a hand salute. jack: i pledge of 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 my distinct privilege to introduce the members of the veterans day national committee. the committee was formed by presidential order in 1954 to plan this annual observance in honor of america's veterans, and to support veterans day observances through the nation. please hold your applause and tell i introduced each special guest. if you're able, please stand when your name is called. mr. jack mcmahon is the national president of vietnam veterans of america. mr. timothy m morland, commander in veterans of foreign wars of the united date.
mr. james ziemer robbins junior, national president of fleet reserve association. mr. don mclean, national commander of amvest. ms. arlene baker, army and navy union, united states of america. retired united states navy fleet master chief, paul a kingsbury. president, noncommissioned associate -- officer association of the united states. this patricia harris, national vice commander. the american legion. mr. chris messick, national commander, military order of the purple heart. retired united states marine corps sergeant major, johnny baker.
national commandant and ceo of marine corps league. retired united states army chaplain, brigadier general robert futsal's key, national president military chapels association of the united states of america. retired -- corporal charles brown, national president of caroline veterans of america. mr. donald mark, national adjutant, legion of valor of the united states. retired united states army lt. col., michael a okun's. mc. commander-in-chief, military order of the world wars. retired united states navy chief petty officer doug, national president, the entire -- retired
and listed. brian sector. idc agent and medal of honor recipient. congressional battle of honor society of the u.s. mr. joe, national commander, disabled american veterans. retired air force colonel, jim o'brien. executive vice president and chief operating officer. military officers association of america. commander christie ferdie, chair , board of directors. commissioned officers association of the u.s. public health service. retired united states air force chief master sergeant, carrie wright. international president of air force sergeants association. mr. michael steps, national commander, polish legion of american veterans.
mr. jeffrey j greater, national president of korean war veterans association of the united states. mr. luis vasquez, national commander of american g.i. for of the united states. -- form of the united states. joseph mcneil senior, national president of blinded veterans association. mr. nelson mellon, national commander of the jewish war veterans of the u.s. the associates and 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 memberships to stand and be recognized. ladies and gentlemen, please
join me and recognize our veterans national leadership with your applause. [applause] it is my pleasure to introduce at the executive director, army national medal -- military cemeteries and office of cemeteries, ms. karen durham aguilera. [applause] karen: what a beautiful day. every day it is a beautiful day at arlington cemetery. on behalf of the secretary of the army and a dedicated -- the dedicated men and women who serve here. well -- welcome to arlington national cemetery. i would like to extend a warm welcome to vice president kamala
harris. thank you for being with us and honoring our nation's veterans. i welcome secretary of veterans affairs. being veterans association jack mcmahon and. secretary of defense lloyd austin. chairman of the joint chiefs of staff mark milley. our dignitary, cabinet secretary, service secretary, service chiefs, veterans, families and everyone watching across our great nation. thank you. thank you for being with us today. hiking think of no better bless -- i can think of no better place to honor our veterans than at our hallowed grounds. we recognize the honor, integrity, duty, courage and patriotism of our service members, past and present. today's a day of remembrance, it is also ace -- a day of celebration. at our nationalists cemetery we
have an obligation to care for our veterans and their place of rest. we hold a great honor and responsibility of sharing their stories and educating future generations about the services and sacrifices. veterans shaped our nations, and arlington we proudly and humbly treat every day like veterans day. these grounds represent the lives of over 400,000 soldiers, sailors, airmen, millions, coast guard men, as and family -- marines, coast guard, space force and family. the theme for veterans is on. everything we do on these grounds intends to honor and remember our nation's veterans. at arlington we work every day to honor our veterans by maintaining these hollow grounds by educating and providing rich
history and virtually and by the honors we bestow to our nation's veterans during funeral services and at the tomb of the unknown soldier. those who served or are currently serving our country in any capacity, you are seeing, you are celebrated and you are recognized your contributions. you're the courageous few who raised your right hand and answered the call. we are indebted to you. i would like to think spouses, pants, family members and the community for your commitment supporting service members. it today and every day for 158 euros, arlington is honored to serve our veterans and families on these hallowed ground. we are honoring service and sacrifice. the u.s. military people and families are its greatest strength.
no place in arlington can be purchased. each must be earned. veterans, this day and every day in arlington belongs to you. thank you again, and welcome to arlington national cemetery. [applause] the vietnam veterans of america is honored to serve as this year's host organization for the 2022 veterans day national commemoration at arlington national cemetery. vietnam veterans of america record of achievement as a profile of tenacity and effectiveness. in january, 1978, a small group of vietnam veteran activists came to washington dc to create
an advocacy organization that would push for action of the unmet needs of their fellow vietnam veterans. today, vietnam veterans of america, the only congressionally chartered veteran service organizations dedicated to vietnam era veterans and families, have any national membership of 89 thousand. with more than 600 chapters. vietnam veterans of america state councils, coordinate the activities of local chapters in 48 states, puerto rico, guam and the virgin islands. the ambitious agenda have always claimed to find responsive solutions to concerns of the vietnam era veterans, while at the same time fulfilling the vietnam veterans of america founding -- principle that never again will one generation of
veterans abandon another. vietnam veterans of america will always work to make sure that those who serve our nation receive the care and treatment they earned. the vietnam veterans of america as represented by their national president, ladies and gentlemen please welcome mr. jack mcmahon. [applause] >> thank you. madam vice president, first lady , mr. secretary, distinguished guests and fellow veterans. it is a great privilege for vietnam veterans of america to serve as the host of the arlington national commemorative celebration of veterans day.
an hour vietnam veterans speak, welcome home. today recognize 19 million living veterans of soldiers, sailors, airmen, guardians, marines, coast guardians, we owe a great debt of gratitude for the freedoms we have. we remember and honor our heroes made the ultimate sacrifice in the name of liberty and justice. we honor their spouses, parents, survivors. many are with us today. to our comrades remain missing. we remain true to a solemn promise to bring you home. may god bless you and your families.
we have come along way since 1978. vietnam veterans had a start number of -- and communities. can we have legislatures to make sure all veterans received respect and gratitude they deserved. we lived up to our founding principles to never again of one generation of veterans abandon another. we are especially proud to see that our fight to change the public perception of vietnam veterans has paid off. that our newest generations of veterans are coming home to a warm welcome from a very supportive country. thank you. [applause]
to provide one veteran service based on distinction in time, or location at the expense of another veteran equally honorable service is an injustice to all veterans. could we really believe that the veterans lost in the beirut derricks -- barracks or in benghazi were any less of a sacrifice than those lost in fallujah or in case on vietnam? if our nations and institutions simply recognize my generation of veterans as deserving and the honor and distinction of being recognized as an american veteran, as were previous veterans by more popular hostilities that came before us.
it is likely we would never come into existence. as vietnam veterans, we we fought for the veterans on the disease is and abnormalities of agent orange. we are ecstatic with the passage of the pact act. the most comprehensive bill to address the health of veterans of toxic exposures. we know this to be true. the willingness of our young men and women are likely to serve in any war is directly proportional to having received the veterans in the past and today are treated and appreciated by the nation. we have come along way, much remains to be done the future of our nation's dependent on the young men and women who raise their hands to uphold the
constitution of the united states. there is little to be angry or complain about now with the way veterans are treated by our nation. 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 the secretary, it is my honor to introduce the secretary of department of veterans affairs, dennis mcdonough. [applause] >> jack, thank you very, very
much. madame vice president, mr. emhoff, secretary austin 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, to 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. for ano 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 t 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 with a light up above from the mountains to the prairies to the oceans god bless america my home sweet home god bless america my home, my home sweet home ♪ ♪
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] >> c-span's washington journal. every day, we are taking her calls live on the air on the news of the day. saturday morning, george fee become a director of strategy at the queens of -- the quincy institute discusses the recent development in russians invasion of ukraine. in our spotlight on podcasts second, hosts talk about their podcast, "the purple principal."
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