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Message From The Secretary Of Veterans Affairs

shinseki_vaThe blessings of freedom and justice, opportunity and prosperity, so dear to all Americans, were not gained without sacrifice, nor preserved without purpose.

These blessings are at the heart of our American celebration of Thanksgiving, a holiday that acknowledges both our colonial roots and the beneficence of the Almighty. Vital in that history was the sharing of the harvest by American Indians, enabling the preservation of our early settlers during those first winters in the New World. Sharing one’s blessings and giving thanks for the bounties of the harvest, long a part of Native American culture, became part of our American Thanksgiving celebration, as well. This cherished tradition endured and flourished as our Nation grew and prospered.

Of this rich, new land, Thomas Jefferson once proclaimed to fellow Virginian, James Monroe, “My God! How little do my countrymen know what precious blessings they are in possession of, and which no other people on earth enjoy!” [Letter, June 17, 1785]

The principles and values that define us as Americans found their origins in Jefferson’s time and have been sustained since by the vigilance and valor of generation after generation of men and women who, in both peace and war, have safeguarded our way of life. At the Department of Veterans Affairs, caring for those who, in President Abraham Lincoln’s words, “have borne the battle” remains our noble mission.

President Lincoln further established the last Thursday of November as a national “day of Thanksgiving” for the benevolence and bounty that has been given to the American people. On this uniquely American holiday, let us remember our good fortune at living in a land of plenty—safe, secure, and free from tyranny and oppression.

Another courageous generation of young Americans serves today as a force for good in some of the most remote and unforgiving places in the world. Many will observe Thanksgiving and the upcoming Holiday Season without the warmth and companionship of families and friends. Their missions are difficult and dangerous, and they perform them without hesitation. In this season of Thanksgiving, let us pray for their well-being and safe return. As we gather at our own tables on November 28th, let us not only give thanks for the blessings in our own lives, but give thanks for the men and women who now serve, and for those who have served on Thanksgivings past, ensuring for us and future generations of Americans the “precious blessing” of liberty.

“Happy Thanksgiving” to all our Veterans and their families, to the Survivors of the Fallen, and to my VA colleagues across our Department, who serve them so faithfully. May God continue to bless this great and wonderful country of ours.

Eric K. Shinseki

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Posted by on Nov 26 2013, With 0 Reads, Filed under Vet News, Veterans Affairs. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.
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2 Comments for “Message From The Secretary Of Veterans Affairs”

  1. This minion is a lying sack of pig s##t who has proved he does not give a flying whatever about the veterans. Look at him spending veteran funds to fight in court trying to deprive veterans of the use of their land in LA. This land was given to the veterans, not the corrupt VA. to auction off to the highest bidder.

  2. Mr. Secretary, I sometimes forget I am a USAF veteran myself but my 8 year experience was bland as a physician except a brief trip to a beach on Guam. I never suffered so much as our other veterans have today and prior. I am most aware of the recent physical and mental difficulties they accumulate on active duty. I hope there is more hope and resources for those men and women. Thank you for your time to remember them this Thanksgiving, a year when it is harder to see what to be Thankful for in some cases. But it is always better to believe good can happen.

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