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Veterans Day: Reflecting on a proud legacy

KADENA AIR BASE, Japan--- -- As we reflect on our heritage this Veterans Day, let us remember with great
pride the achievements our service members have made and honor their many
sacrifices. It is our Armed Forces that carry the great burden and
responsibility of defending the nation and our allies, and we do it with honor
and unyielding courage.

On November 11th, 1918, Americans and allies across the globe effectively
brought World War I to an end when Marshal Ferdinand Foch (pronounced Fosh),
Supreme Commander of the Allied Armies, met with Germany's government
representative for the signing of an Armistice at 11 a.m. in a railway
carriage in a French forest near the Western Front. The 11th hour of the
eleventh day of the eleventh month of 1918.

A year later, President Wilson proclaimed November 11, 1919, as the first
commemoration of Armistice Day. President Wilson said, "To us in America, the
reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism
of those who died in the country's service and with gratitude for the victory,
both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the
opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice
in the councils of the nations.."

Today, more than 500 Kadena Airmen are deployed around the world far away from
their homes and their families, working to establish peace and security in
Afghanistan, the Horn of Africa, the Philippines and countless other places.
Here in Okinawa, members of all U.S. military services work every day with our
Japanese partners to ensure this region remains stable and secure.

Just as important are the sacrifices your families make every day. A high
operations tempo, multiple deployments, and living in unfamiliar surroundings
far from home require strength and commitment. We thank you and your family
for all you do for our Air Force and our Nation.

During this three-day weekend, let us remember why we are here in Okinawa. We
have been put in a position of great trust and responsibility. Our nation's
interest is to maintain regional stability. We can only do that if we are
performing at our best...both on and off duty. Take care of your wingman, and
be the strength to cover where they are weak. Remember your responsibilities
as Airmen and as ambassadors.

Let's work even harder to rebuild the trust between us and the Okinawan
people.

We are proud of the work you do and proud of the legacy left by those veterans
who came before us. Thank you for all you do as we continue to Aim
High...Fly, Fight and Win!