On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, the first World War came to an end. A generation of Americans, celebrated the anniversary as Armistice Day. We now call it Veterans Day.
Well, two months ago, terrorists brought forth a new generation of American war veterans.
The first wave of warriors, the crew of the USS Enterprise, got some well-deserved home leave this week.
Like their predecessors, most of our new veterans are young, shockingly young. They haven't yet felt the full burdens or joys of maturity. They sometimes laugh and play like kids. And yet our sharpest and most fervent hopes for safety, security and liberty lie with them.
Their selflessness astonishes. They have said goodbye to places and people they love. They have set their sights on a raw land half a world away. Some will fight in mountains, some will fire from the skies, some will toil at sea. Some will die, and some will return home scarred forever.
But they will fight with discipline, passion, armed with the ingenuity that free societies foster, bolstered by the courage that commitment supplies, and hardened at times by faith.
Not quite 60 years ago, Pearl Harbor. Well, now we have a new greatest generation, and it has made its debut.
Let's remember their predecessors. And let's pray for the men and women who have gone away hoping that all, like this young man, may return safely to a land as determined, daring and free as they are.
Happy Veterans Day.