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But we also honor those whose service was, when measured against the heroism of those who sacrificed life or limb, uneventful. We acknowledge those who quietly did their jobs, came home, and received only a certificate attesting their "Honest and Faithful" service. These men and women stood up, raised their right hands, and swore to defend the Constitution of the United States no matter what. From that instant forward until their discharge they were committed to giving up much of what they were prepared to fight for -- not heroic things in eyes of the world, but vitally important to most of us.
As a soldier or sailor or aviator you agree to live where you are told to, work as many hours as you are required to, eat when you are told you may, sleep where and when you are permitted to -- the list of these simple freedoms that service people forgo is long and very personal.
You also agree to leave behind those you love and go to some of the most God-forsaken places on the face of the earth. There you may eat canned meals, sleep on the cold ground, and get shot at, bombed, poisoned, or exposed to diseases that don't even have names in the Western world. You may face hazards and conditions unthinkable in a domestic civilian job.
So today we pause in remembrance to thank one and all who serve. It will always be those of you who step forward when called that give substance to our prayer when we ask God to bless America and keep freedom safe.