Veterans Day 2009


Englewood Mayor Michael Wildes and the City of Englewood celebrated Veterans Day at the monument honoring all those who have served our country in war to protect our freedom.



We are gathered here this Veterans Day to honor and reflect upon the service of the 24 million veterans of the United States armed forces. Whether it is on the beaches of Normandy, in the jungles of Vietnam, or the in mountains of Afghanistan the courage and commitment of our soldiers has never been questioned.


This is not a celebration of military might. Our Veterans Day reflects instead on the character and the conviction of our soldiers. They leave their friends, their homes, and their families to fight for a dream far greater than any individual one of us. A dream of global peace, and freedom, a dream founded on the belief that every nation should provide its people with the same precious rights and liberties which we provide for all Americans. In the words of General Douglas MacArthur, “ The soldier, above all other people, prays for peace, for he must suffer and bear the deepest wounds and scars of war.”


Veterans Day was established as Armistice Day in 1919 to commemorate the end of World War I, “the War to end all wars.” Each generation of Americans has been faced with new challenges to this dream: the threat of fascism, the communist menace, the war on terror. Yet for each new challenge that has emerged, a new generation of our best and our bravest has stepped forward to overcome it. It is this willingness to risk everything, this willingness to confront evil in the name of peace that keeps this dream alive. Though the times and the challenges that confront us continually change, the valor and the dedication of our soldiers has remained constant throughout our two hundred year history.


Our soldiers are the finest the world has ever known. Regardless of whether they win or lose, they always conduct themselves with the utmost dignity. They develop not only the strength to outfight America 's enemies, but also the intelligence to outthink them. Yet their most impressive attribute is not tied to their ability to win battles, it is their humility and their respect for humanity which sets them apart.


I am privileged to be accompanied here today by United States Marine Infantry Platoon Commander, Captain Patrick Free. Patrick served a tour of duty in the Haditha Triad of the Al-Anbar province of Iraq . He is working as an intern at my law firm until January, when he will attend the Marine Corps Intelligence Officers Course.


Though we celebrate Veterans Day for only a few hours each year, the lessons we take from those who put their country before themselves should last for the rest of our lives. As we pray for the safety of those serving in Iraq and Afghanistan and for the families of those tragically slain at Fort Hood, let us draw inspiration from our veterans' dedication to their country, their courage in battle, and most of all, from their commitment to peace.




Paid for by Friends of Michael J. Wildes For Mayor, Amy Wildes, Treasurer

250 Allison Court, Englewood, NJ 07631