This date of November 11th was chosen to commemorate World War I, which ended on November 11, 1918 and has become our national day for thanking ALL men and women who have served honorably in the military during times of war and peace.
As veterans, you are heroes and also leaders, and I thank you on behalf of the community for your service. I am glad that today our population is much more aware and supportive of the sacrifice and commitment of our military personnel and your families. Those of you who served in Viet Nam know that was not always the way it was. Honestly, I doubt that many of us who are not on the front lines really have a good understanding of your sacrifices. You are humble about it.
President Eisenhower once said, ”The average veteran has developed in leadership, in initiative, in mental maturity and in self-reliance . . . . . . . in defending all citizens, . . . . . for the best of man’s virtues.”
A young man I know, Patrick Moore, graduated a few years ago from the University of Michigan and was accepted into law school, but instead enlisted in the Air Force with a commitment to attend Para Rescue training. These are the true heroes who are ready to jump into a hurricane to rescue a downed pilot. The training is incredibly difficult.
Patrick invited my dad and I to the para rescue graduation last month. My father, who is a retired air force general officer, and I were both honored, and we flew out to Albuquerque for the service. We watched as 22 young men, out of 1,000 who started the program, accepted the responsibility of being a full para rescuer.
They are amazingly humble, incredibly fit and totally focused. Patrick in particular is now at a duty station in Tuscon and deploys to Afghanistan in another month. He is the toughest and humblest young man I know and I am better off knowing him and seeing the model he sets. I see in him leadership strength that I see in so many veterans we thank today. I see in him the kind of commitment that we would hope to have in this young generation, and that we see in our many veterans. He, like all veterans, is worthy of our respect and honor. It is through your service and efforts that our freedoms are protected.
Voting is one of those freedoms, and I was gratified to see that our voter participation in Farmington was close to 80% of registered voters this past week.
The destructive evolution in our politics is incredibly disappointing to me. We must expect, encourage and consequence our representatives to become problem solvers and meet the needs of the general interests, not the special interests. Anything else does not serve America.
I would hope that one of the problems gaining even more focus on the effort of job opportunity support for veterans and that we further enhance the care, respect and honor your service and your families deserve. Putting yourselves at risk, you have protected our choices and opportunities, you have enabled an environment where citizens can voice their opinions openly, friends and families can gather safely, businesses can create jobs and thrive. By gosh, THANK YOU to you and your families!
President Calvin Coolidge once said the nation which forgets its defenders will be itself forgotten.
I am entering my 8th year of service as a council member for Farmington, and my 4th year as Mayor. This is likely to be my last year in this role. My service as a volunteer in this role has been motivated to honor my father’s and brother’s service in the armed forces. And while I know my service is a mere shadow of their commitment and that of all veterans, I hope you will take it as my way to honor all veterans.
On behalf of our residents, our citizens, again I say thank you veterans, for your service. Let us never forget. May God bless and protect the United States of America.
Tom Buck, Mayor
City of Farmington