Saturday, May 15 is National Armed Forces Day; A day to celebrate and commemorate the continued sacrifice and bravery of our men and women in uniform. According to the Department of Defense, Nebraska currently has over 17,000 men and women in service. These Nebraskans have chosen to defend liberty. No doubt that all us know someone who currently serves. Many of you have a son or daughter, husband or wife, brother or sister in the Service; know that we support you as you support them. Today we pause to remember the sacrifice of so many to ensure our lifestyle and our freedom.
Ronald Reagan once spoke of the duty of our military, declaring: "there can be no more noble vocation than the protection of one's fellow citizens." In a time when some seek to threaten and menace our freedom through terror and aggression, these words ring out stronger than ever.
Since our nation's origin, thousands and thousands have answered the call to serve and protect their fellow Americans. Throughout numerous eras and wars, the men and women of the United States Military have willingly fought, even died, to attain and to uphold a most precious commodity: Liberty. Today, all of our Service men and women are volunteers; individuals who, freely and at will, have joined our Armed Forces, amidst terrorism and war, to protect our priceless freedom.
As many of us did our civic duty on Tuesday and voted in Nebraska's state primary election, we should remember how truly extraordinary it is that we live in such a place; a country whose government, at every level, is decided by We The People. And we, as Americans, can demand that our government work for us; to be accountable and transparent to us. Many lives have been lost on the battle field to ensure that generations to come would have the freedom to cast ballots, and to voice opinions on how their government should be run. When we are passionate, proactive Americans, we pay homage to the soldiers who have made the ultimate sacrifice to allow us to do so.
May 15 is a day for commemoration and praise for the gallant and heroic individuals who choose to defend liberty, no matter the cost. But never should a day go by that we take for granted our fellow citizens who live in constant danger so that we can live without worry or fear. We acknowledge all who are currently in harm's way in the defense of freedom: We thank you, we are proud of you, and may you come home safely.