Over the centuries of conflict, from the American Revolution to the present, over 42-million Americans have fought in the nation's wars, taken-up arms to, first, provide for our freedom, then many times over, fight to preserve it, determined to protect and preserve our nation, while so often, as well, helping to liberate those suffering under the iron-fist of tyranny. This, then, is the week, and the day specified, when we celebrate the selfless service and sacrifice of those soldiers, sailors, airmen, coast guardsmen, and marines, as well as those valiant merchant-mariners during World War II.
Those who've so proudly worn the uniform of our nation, from the Declaration of Independence to the present, represent the very best of America. And in more recent years, all of the men and women who make the commitment to serve our nation, do so voluntarily, and together form an invincible, five-branch fighting force that is both the most powerful, and most feared, by those who wage evil, but at the same time, the most humane team of freedom-defending warriors the world has ever known.
It is these past and present service members who form the very core of American patriotism, and who remain ready by word or action, to yet again, come to the aid or defense of our great nation. Even in subtle and supportive ways. Take for example, the members of the Columbus, Ohio chapters of the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars, who recently pooled their funds and patriot-sentiments to supply the public schools there with twelve-hundred American flags, for classrooms without, so that those students could, daily, pledge-allegiance to our glorious flag. With loyalty to America unsurpassed, in so many ways, our cherished military veterans remain there for us. We, in turn, must always remain there for them.