Veterans Day Ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery CSPAN November 11, 2019 3:29pm-4:43pm EST
[ music ] >> ladies and gentlemen, please remain standing for the nationaln given by the director of chaplain service for teran's ctor of ve affairs. >> let us pray. god on this day we honor our veterans. women of this nation lives to tted their freedoms we cherish. our veterans know freedom is not and comes with a sacrifice for those who serve as well as
for their families, and loved ones. rvice of our veterans, we are grateful. we also are grateful to you, god. for your strengthening presence. our veterans have felt your sustaining presence standing ight silenceddark n at a lonely outpost. orlds away from home, or on a ship. in a distant sea. felt your s have protested presence in the horrible heat of combat or flying amid darkening clouds across your sky. veterans felt your presence wounded ttended to our comrades in their pain and among those whose struggle ceased. we are abiding presence,
grateful. may ceremonies inspire our hearts to up hold faith, understanding, life, and human andnity and love and justice continued aspiration to acrificial service as exemplified by service members and veterans. name, amen. holy like to invite our our nder to lead us in pledge of allegiance. >> i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america and to the republic for which it stands, one nation, visible, with ive
liberty and justice for all. >> please be seated. >> now, it to announce the committee formed to plan this annual observance in honor of merica's veterans and to support veteran's day throughout the please you're able, called.hen your name is mr. harvey winer, national commander, jewish war veterans of the usa.
national vice e, president, vietnam veterans of america. mr. william doc schmidts, commander in chief, veterans of foreign wars of the united states. donna janski, fleet reserve association. miss jan c brown, national vets.der am onal enneth lismore, nati commander army and navy union, incorporated. mr. john ofstroski, noncommissioned officers usa.ciation of the nearobaum, american legion. mr. charles eggelston, military rple heart.e pu mr. dennis tobin, marine corps
league. mr. william d rosswaf, executive director, military chaplain's association of the usa. zurflut, national veterans of lyzed america. mr. charles s chamberlain, commander in chief, military the world wars. mr. phillip valinski. thaker, congressional medal of honor society of the usa. mr. steven butch whitehead, national commander, disabled erans.an vet r. dan mary, vice president of
government relations. munoz commissioned office association. carton, air force sergeant association. polish en wzcoski veterans usa. unningham, national president, corps rein war veteran's association of the usa. mr. lawrence gromo, national commander, american gi forum of the united states. associate members of the located in the boxes to the left. i would like to ask them to recognized.e
lease join me with your applause. it's now my pleasure to introduce the executive director rmy national cemeteries miss aguilera.ham >> good morning. welcome to arlington national cemetery, thank you mr. vice for being here today and welcome mr. dan quail and his family for attending today. secretary of defense
esper and secretary of the dawilke and mrs. wilke. herson, rable jim mcp chief of staff in the army general mcconville and mrs. mcconville, welcome. frankwellski, thank you. for your participation and our families here today and everyone watching across the hank you.ion, t what a beautiful day. and today we're surrounded by 400,000 soldiers, sailors, arines and coast guard men and their families. nation.ved our their headstones are the brick
that formed a foundation. that is our united states. and important is the valor and fidelity in the hearts and souls of service members, past, pren, guard of our van freedom and liberty. for 155 years, no lace can be surfaced. ple we're a great peo honoring sacrifice, and service to a grateful nation. thank you and welcome to cemetery. national
>> i'd like to introduce our veteran service organization for 2019. serve for the 2019 commemoration. he catholic war veterans is incorporated that meets equirements for a veteran service organization under the code of 1986 organized under the state of new york. other er with organizations, it seeks to
ion full measure of devot will get a special thanks to those who return to families and ildume their lives to help bu this great country and seek those who came home with the to s of war, who continue fight daily against mental, motional and physical disabilities. e can never thank them enough and it's become an important of our national kert we reflect on the selfless coverage of those who fought for our freedom as soldiers on both the civil war. dough boys sh the admire the standard and determination of our sailors and air men. fight to the enemy
that same commitment has boroughed fortunate to mountains korea and deserts of the east. our ach time and place have rosie riveters and entertainer who's stood shoulder lines at on front home to demonstrate the best america has to offer. remains tment to peace highest priorities and it is a o those who had to go to war to preserve peace may sacrifices by those who serve.
catholic war vet transorganization is honored to ost on this special day and may god bless all of those who serve and may god continue to bless these united america.f coming to virginia, mr. wilke was principle secretary to the secretary and deputy secretary of defense. both defense secretary donald rumsfeld and
robert bates and special for tant for president affairs and rity previously served with and ladiese commands wilke.ntlemen, mr. robert >> thank you mr. cowolski and for this war veterans glorious day. president, to my colleagues and veterans of the united states to chairman of the veterans affairs committee welcome, today we gather to honor veterans.
and across that river abraham de alongside ri ambulances of wounded soldiers constantly ask if how are things going. looking president was for ways to horror and respect those who carried the nation's onnetts.n their bay he knew if we're fog to have a nation it would be these men to deliver our future and thanked the 189th new york volunteers and said to those who entaleder hardest work in ion should be nat given the greatest credit. and generations after president
lincoln sergeant alvin york showed america what it means to untry and those who defend our country. greatest as america's hero. he was besieged by offers of his endorsement and i said this sale.m ain't for years later, the guns of europe began to get closer and closer to the shores of the country reminds americans again and freedom and that you do not nd then stop.once a liberty and freedom and of cracies are prizes
awarded to those people to keep ternally to hold them. sometimes, s veterans in this country has since york returned from france. veterans marched on this city tanks.eeted with prank lynn roosevelt knew what veterans saw his wife pass amongst him to say all the gs will come light in end. ne private from the division few they sent the army a eeks ago and roosevelt said eleanor. he ordered his fellow missouriin to take order of the veterans affairs known then as
administration. educational stered benefits to 7.5 million americaning veterans, and he set america on the course for doing the right thing that it had forgotten in between the two great wars. but things did not continue in that way. when my father went to vietnam, the tide had turned again. we forgot why we send americans overseas, and the wisdom of taking care of those who put this nation's freedom on their backs. there were no welcome home parades, and my father, a senior officer in america's most decorated combat division, was not even allowed to wear his uniform off of fort bragg. there was such neglect that our friends at the vietnam veterans of america created the most lasting slogan. never again will one generation of veterans abandon another.
that must be our charge today and always. we must vow never to let those dark days return, and to always be a welcoming family for those, who as lincoln said, borne the battle. i will close today with the thoughts of the greatest of airborne warriors, matthew bunker ridgeway. he led the all-american victory in north africa, sicily, and general eisenhower passed him with leading the airborne assault on taylor's fortress europe. as he planned the operations of the screaming eagles, the all-americans, and the red devils of the british division, general ridgway could not sleep. he was so restless he fell out of his cot. he reached for the old testament and to the book of joshua and pulled down the description of the battle of jericho and god's promise to that great general. i shall not fail thee, nor
forsake thee. in 1986, general ridgway was awarded the presidential medal of freedom by ronald reagan. ronald reagan said, heroes come when they are needed. great men step forward when courage seems in short supply. this day is about heroes, but it is about those 41 million american men and women who have stepped forward when courage seems in short supply from the moment the first shots were fired on lexington green. it is our duty never to fail nor forsake. it is now my high honor -- [applause] it is now my high honor and distinct pleasure to introduce to you the father of a marine corps aviator, a man who has
spent his career making sure that those who have answered the call are treated with respect and reverence they deserve. it is my great honor to introduce the vice president of the united states, the honorable mike pence. [applause] vice pres. pence: thank you all. it is the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month. 100 years ago on this day, america first celebrated armistice day, marking the anniversary of the day in 1918 when the guns of world war i fell silent.
there is a day in may when we remember those who served and did not come home. but today, all across america, in gatherings large and small, in cities and towns, we pause to remember all those who served in uniform and did come home. it is veterans day in america. [applause] vice president quayle, secretary esper, secretary wilkie, secretary de vos and scalia, to the congressmen, director kowalski, durham-aguilera, distinct americans gathered here today, it's an honor to be here with you all, but most especially, it is a high honor for me to stand before you in this special place among men and women who wear the uniform of
the united states of america, today, and our veterans who served our nation in uniform in ages past. it is my great honor to welcome you here to arlington national cemetery for the 2019 national veterans day observance. i am grateful that you all would make time, as millions of americans will do across this nation, to honor all those who served. the bible tell us, if you owe debts, pay debts. if honor, then honor. if respect, then respect.
today, here in arlington and across the nation, americans gathered to pay a debt of gratitude to the generations who have answered the call to serve in the armed forces of the united states. it is also my honor to be here on behalf of a great champion of our armed forces and of every veteran across this nation, so allow me to begin by bringing greetings and gratitude from the 45th president of the united states, president donald trump. [applause] this morning, our president made history, becoming the first president ever to kick off the annual veterans day parade in new york city. but, though, he is in new york,
i know his heart is here, with all of you and every veterans day service across the country. as the president said just moments ago, in his words, today, we come together as one nation, to salute the veterans of the united states armed forces, the greatest warriors ever to walk the face of the earth. [applause] as the president said, you risked everything for us. now it is our duty to serve you, and serving and protecting our veterans, and keeping our provinces to our veterans, we will do every day of our lives. [applause]
so to all the veterans gathered here, as well as all those veterans gathered here as well as looking on, from the heart of a grateful nation, thank you for your service. we're proud of you -- every single one of you. [applause] pence: just as you fought for us, i promise you this president, this vice president, and our administration will always fight for you. [applause] as president trump has said, a spirit of strength lives within the heart of every american warrior, and that spirit has helped our fighters defeat parents, conquer fascism, vanquish communism, and face down terrorism. and so he rightly said. our first president said in his farewell orders to the continental army these words. "the unparalleled perseverance of the armies of the united states through almost every possible suffering and discouragement for the space of eight long years was little short of a standing miracle."
so said george washington, and so it can be said of every veteran throughout the long and storied history of this nation. [applause] we were a credit to america. from bunker hill to saipan, coral reef to kandahar, nearly 50 million men and women have donned the uniform of the united states. and nearly 20 million of you still walk among us today. and as we speak, a new generation of american heroes
and veterans is being forged around the nation and around the world. as i looked out today, it is a truly humbling site. i see men and women who served in world war ii, in the korean war, in vietnam, iraq, and afghanistan. i see many more who have stood watch over our country in times of peace. so if you are able, if you have worn the uniform of the united states of america, would you please stand and give us one more opportunity to show the gratitude of this nation for your service? [applause] thank you for your service.
thank you for your service. it truly is humbling to be with all of you. our veterans really don't consider themselves heroes. to speak to them, most of them reject the very thought of it. most of them say, as iraq war veteran army specialist christopher gamblin said not long ago, and i quote, he said he was "just some guy that did his job." my dad, a combat veteran from the korean war, used to say with equal humility, "the heroes were the guys that didn't make it home." on this day, it is our job to set the record straight. every veteran of the armed forces of the united states is a hero to the american people.
[applause] and on this day, it is our duty to tell your story, the story of what you did for us and what you did for our country, and all you did to ensure the survival and success of liberty. our veterans have distinguished themselves in combat. like a man who joined me on this occasion two years ago. 38 years ago this march, he was serving his country in vietnam. back then, he was a first lieutenant in the army, 92nd artillery. one morning, he woke to a massive north vietnamese attack on a hilltop outpost.
he and his brothers in arms were heavily outnumbered. it took just minutes for the enemy to break through their defenses. at this first lieutenant rallied. he rallied his brothers to stand their ground. he ordered air and artillery strikes from what would later be described as a dangerously exposed position, for four straight hours. as the situation worsened, he personally directed the withdrawal and provide covering fire to ensure his brothers in arms' safety, and to inflict massive damage on the enemy. he actually called in an artillery strike on his own position. wounded himself, he managed to evade detection for eight long days, until he was rescued by american forces that we took the outpost. for his conspicuous gallantry at the risk of his own life, above and beyond the call of duty, he received, of course, the medal of honor. would you join me in thanking a true american hero -- medal of honor recipient first lieutenant brian thacker. [applause]
>> thank you, sir. thank you, brian. it's an honor. >> thank you, sir. [applause] so we remember those who served in combat, but on this veterans day we also do well to remember that our veterans' contributions continue long after you come home. they continue to serve our country in civilian life. you lead in business, in education, and law enforcement, and public service at every level. and wherever you go, you do what
you always did when you were serving in uniform. our veterans show the same sense of duty and courage that defined your years in the armed forces. for a veteran of the united states armed forces, service does not end when they hang up the uniform. service is a lifelong calling. [applause] like a marine sergeant who joins us here today, during his time in uniform, he was in the second battalion, fifth marines. but after he came home, went to college, played a little football, played in the orange bowl, got a masters degree, and
then joined the v.a. -- and for the last 10 years, he has worked tirelessly to fulfill the words of our nation's 16th president, to care for them that shall have borne the battle. thank matt webb for a lifetime of service to america. [applause] i love you. thank you so much. [applause] serving our veterans in meeting their needs -- we thank you, sergeant, for continuing that service. and as i stand before you today, i can tell you from my heart not be more proud to be vice president to a president who cares so deeply about the men and women of our armed forces, and every veteran in america.
[applause] since the first day of our administration, president trump has taken decisive action to make sure america keeps the solemn promises we have made to each and every one of you, and all of our nation's heroes. veterans benefits are not entitlements. they are the ongoing compensation for services rendered in the uniform of the united states. [applause] and under this president's leadership, we have been working to keep those promises. he passed the most sweeping reforms at the v.a. in more than 50 years, and veterans choice is now available to every veteran in america.
and to end an era of heartbreaking abuse and neglect, president trump also assigned the v.a. accountability and whistleblower protection act, to ensure that our veterans receive the highest quality of care in the v.a. system. and under our administration, we fired more than 8000 employees for negligent behavior, and the wait times for patients have dropped by 33%. in fact, the wait times are shorter at the v.a. than they are in the private sector medical system. that is how you do it for our heroes. and as our 40th president once said, veterans know better than anyone else the price of freedom, because you have suffered the scars of war. the truth is that not all the wounds of war are visible.
often, after they come home, our combat veterans struggle with the weight of having defended our freedom on the field of battle. that is why at the president's direction, we have increased funding for mental health services by almost $9 billion. the v.a. is now providing mental health screenings to every patient who walks through the door. and to all of our heroes gathered here, and to all of those looking on, let me say -- let me say from the heart, if you are a veteran who is struggling with a return to civilian life, or if you have a family member or a friend or a neighbor who you know is similarly burdened, just know that there is help available today.
and just as you were there for us, we will be there for you, to see you through this time. [applause] so we have been providing for the practical needs of those who serve, but also, from the first day of this administration, this president has taken steps to ensure our returning veterans can live the american dream they fought so nobly to defend. in fact, president trump signed legislation to expand the post 9/11 g.i. bill so that veterans can get up to $24,000 to attend the college of their choice at any point in their lives. and three months ago, president trump directed the department of education to eliminate every last penny of student debt owed by a permanently disabled veteran.
with the stroke of a pen, the president wiped out $750 million owed by more than 25,000 heroes. and thanks to the president's leadership, not only are we making education more available, more affordable for our veterans, but our returning veterans are also coming back to an american economy that is booming, and veteran unemployment is at a 19-year low. [applause] on this veterans day, we honor those who served. like all of you gathered here. we honor you with tributes, and promises kept. but as our veterans understand better than most, we also honor your service by ensuring that the men and women in our armed forces today have the resources and the support that they need
to accomplish their mission and defend this nation, and this we have done. [applause] as they proved just two weeks ago, in a raid that took out the world's number one terrorist leader, the united states armed forces are the greatest force for good the world has ever known. and i am proud to report to all of the veterans gathered here, and those looking on, that from the first day of his administration, president trump
has taken action to make the strongest military in the history of the world stronger still. this president has actually signed the largest investment in our national defense since the days of ronald reagan, including the largest pay raise for our armed forces in more than 10 years. and i will make a promise to all the veterans gathered here. under this president's leadership, our soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines, and coast guard will always have the resources and the support that they need -- so help us god. [applause] so it is veterans day in america, the day we honor all of you who stepped forward, and answer the call to defend this nation at home and abroad. you came from the rest of us, but we know you are the best of us. and on this day and every day, we honor your courage, your
patriotism, and what you have done for us. you put on the armor. you stood in the gap. you defended our freedom. you counted our lives more important than your own. you stood for a cause greater than yourselves. nine years ago this month, a 21-year-old marine was serving our country in afghanistan. history records he was on top of a house with his fellow marine, looking out at a village around him, when all of a sudden an insurgent through a grenade on the roof, and without a moments hesitation, he threw himself on the grenade and absorbed the
impact of the blast. he suffered terrible injuries. every part of his body that was not protected was injured -- face, neck, thigh, foot, lung. but somehow, he survived. while he was being treated, he went into cardiac arrest three times. he has undergone more than 70 procedures during 40 separate surgeries. but people who know him know that that had not slowed him down. today, he is a published author, popular speaker, a marathon runner. and his faith in god and his patriotism has been an inspiration to millions. and i promise you and him that the american people will never forget or fail to honor the service of the youngest living recipient of the medal of honor, corporal kyle carpenter. what a great american.
[applause] i mentioned kyle because of his heroism, because of what he said not long ago. he wrote a memoir of his life. when told a story of the day he got into an uber on his way to an airport -- he started chatting with the driver. he said they talked about their lives. he shared what hw had been through, serving our country. and as the conversation wound down, as it does for so many of you veterans, the driver turned and looked at him and said those words that he often hears.
thank you for your service. but in that moment, corporal gave a reply that surprised even him. he looked at the driver after he heard those words, and he said, "you're worth it." as he wrote later, he wondered to himself, why did i say that? then he realized, in his words, in that moment i wanted him to know that his family, his freedom, his rights, the simple fact that he was a human being, meant that he was worth
sacrificing for, and that is what i have come to realize, serving in the military means. [applause] it was a small moment, but with a big meaning. in a single sentence, the lance corporal captured the spirit of every veteran. i could see it in the face is sitting before me as i recited those words -- in the gentleness that so many of you just gave. when you put on the uniform of the united states, you said, "we are worth it," that our freedom is worth it, and america is worth it.
and on this day on behalf of your president and a grateful nation, thank you. thank you for considering us worthy of your all, in service of this country. [applause] pence: so it is veterans day in america. to those who did not serve in uniform, i have a challenge for you today -- i challenge every american who did not follow a calling in the service, before
the day is out, whether at home or at work, on the street corner , over a backyard fence -- find a veteran. whether they came home in the last week or the last century, extend your hand and say those words that they never asked to hear, but they deserve to hear every day. say,a veteran today and ."hank you for your service every single one of you deserve to hear it every day. thank you for the honor of addressing you in this special place. god bless our veterans and their families. god bless our fallen. god bless the men and women who serve in the armed forces of the united states today. and may god continue to bless the united states of america with heroes like all of you.
tonight on "the communicators" -- >> we were fortunate very early on to convert our old telephone booth infrastructure into wi-fi kiosks, and they are strategically located across the city of new york. that, in and of itself, provides a means of indicating -- of communicating that sets out a predicate for what can be done with sensor technology, how we
can regulate our lighting system. there is so much that can be done just from that platform alone. >> new york democratic congresswoman yvette clarke, the night at 8:00 eastern on "the communicators," on c-span 2. by presidentemarks trump at a veterans day ceremony and parade in new york city. you can watch his comments at 8:00 p.m. eastern on c-span. penceice president mike attending a wreathlaying at arlington national cemetery in virginia. he was joined by veterans affairs secretary robert wilkie. you can watch that at 9:00 eastern, also on c-span. >> "washington journal," live every day with news and policy issues that impact you. coming up tuesday morning, andrew desiderius previews the first public impeachment hearing inquiries this month.
co. e.r.a. coalition president and ceo carol jenkins talks about efforts to ratify the equal rights amendment. and accuracy in media president adam gillett shares the organization mission and focus on investigative journalism. journal," liveon at 7:00 eastern tuesday morning. join the discussion. tomorrow, lawmakers and civil rights advocates look at the importance of the deferred action for childhood arrivals program, known as daca. they look at the supreme court case and whether the president's decision to end the program is constitutional. life tuesday at 8:30 a.m. eastern on c-span 2. also tomorrow, josh hawley looks at u.s. foreign policy issues. he will be at the center for new american security live at 10: 30 a.m. eastern on c-span. and more on national security
and geopolitical challenges with indiana republican senator todd young. he will be speaking at the hudson institute, live at noon eastern on c-span 2. watch the c-span networks live this week, as the house intelligence committee holds the first public impeachment hearings. the committee, led by chairman adam schiff, will hear from three state department officials , starting wednesday at 10:00 a.m. eastern on c-span3. the top u.s. diplomat in ukraine, william taylor, and deputy assistant secretary of state will testify. and friday at 11:00 a.m. on c-span 2, the former u.s. ambassador to ukraine will appear before the committee. ahead of the hearings, read witness testimony from the deposition, find the transcript at c-span.org/impeachment. >> for 40 years, c-span has been
providing america unfiltered coverage of congress, the white house, the supreme court, and public policy events from washington, d.c. and around the country, so you can make up your own mind. 1979, c-spanble in is brought to you by your local cable or satellite provider. c-span -- or unfiltered view of government. next, u.s. navy veterans of the battle of midway share their recollections of the 1942 win over the japanese navy. tim: i'm executive director of the american veteran center. welcome and thank you for being here. this is our 20th year of the event. it is a very special year for us and we are very happy you are here. we want to thank the navy memorial for their hospitality for this weekend. they've been great partners over the years. my only word i have to kick things off is for all of the students that arth