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Remember the Value of Your Service

JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, Hawaii -- To the men and women of Pacific Air Forces and to our veterans from all services, please accept my very sincere "thank you." You have answered our Nation's call, and I'm humbled by your service. This Monday marks the 95th anniversary of the signing of the armistice which brought an end to World War I. That was the first year we commemorated what would become Veterans Day. On this day, we take a break from our routines to honor the sacrifices our veterans have made in service to our Nation.

Here in the Pacific, a little more than 68 years ago, World War II ended with Japan's formal surrender to Allied powers aboard the USS Missouri, which now rests in Pearl Harbor. That surrender came four years after the tragic attack on American soil here in Hawaii and after four long years of sacrifice from our service men and women. When President Franklin D. Roosevelt requested a declaration of war, he said, "We are now in the midst of a war, not for conquest, not for vengeance, but for a world in which this nation and all that this nation represents will be safe for our children."

That conflict ended, but others emerged. Regardless of how or where U.S. service members step up to defend our country, the goal has always been the same -- a better, safer world for our children. Generation after generation has witnessed brave American men and women lay down their lives in service to their Nation. Veterans Day presents an opportunity to pay tribute to service members, past and present, while honoring the significance of their selfless service to our great Nation. The heroes, whose shoulders we stand on, served as we do, as a part of something bigger than all of us in order to keep our people safe and our Nation free.

Every generation has faced difficult challenges, and our generation is no exception. This Veterans Day, I ask that we reflect upon the importance of what we do. Every one of us -- military and civilian; active duty, Reserve, and Guard; Soldier, Sailor, Marine, Airman, and Coast Guardsman; each and every one of us plays a vital part in safeguarding our way of life.

I am honored to serve alongside our amazing PACAF Resilient Airmen. We are part of a proud legacy of U.S. service members who stand together in the world's greatest fighting force and provide unmatched airpower capabilities throughout the vast Asia-Pacific region. Our PACAF team, 46,000 Airmen strong, represents the values that make our service and our Nation proud. Thank you for all you do.