By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
Wednesday, November 11, was celebrated around the country as Veteran’s Day. America was born on the battlefields of Lexington and Concord 240 years ago and Alabamians around the State remember the service that Alabama’s veterans have made to the country in the many generations since. A number of Alabama’s elected leaders released statements and attended Veterans Day ceremonies and events.
US Senator Richard Shelby (R-Alabama) said in a statement, “Today I proudly join my colleagues and Americans across the country in paying tribute to our nation’s veterans and their families. Without the selfless sacrifices of the courageous men and women in uniform, the freedoms we enjoy as Americans would not be possible.”
Sen. Shelby said, “On Veterans Day and every day, we must remember that freedom comes at a great price, and that we owe our active duty and retired servicemen and women a debt of gratitude. Our veterans’ unwavering commitment to defending security and prosperity should never be forgotten.”
In honor of Veterans Day, Senator Shelby featured several of Alabama’s military heroes on his website.
US Representative Gary Palmer (R-Hoover) said in a statement, “I want to wholeheartedly express my appreciation to each and every one of our veterans, both in Alabama and throughout America,” Palmer said. “Our national anthem calls the America the ‘land of the free and the home of the brave.’ A popular rephrasing of that is that America is ‘Land of the free because of the brave.’ It remains free because brave citizens choose to join our armed forced and serve their country sacrificially.”
US Representative Bradley Byrne (R-Montgomery) attended the Veterans Day parade and luncheon today in Mobile on Wednesday and on Tuesday spoke during a Veterans Day ceremony at Daphne High School.
Congressman Byrne said, “Today we celebrate Veterans Day, and we honor the men and women who have served in the United States military. These are the individuals who throughout our nation’s history have put country above themselves. As humans, it seems like we are programmed to avoid any situation that would put us in danger. That’s why there is something truly remarkable about the men and women in our military who choose to run toward danger. These American heroes aren’t afraid of a challenge; when faced with adversity, they simply push themselves harder and reach even higher.”
Rep. Byrne continued, “Despite their service and sacrifice, the Department of Veterans Affairs is leaving far too many veterans behind. The broken bureaucracy at the VA is failing our veterans, and reform is desperately needed. In Washington, I am one of the leading advocates for increasing veteran access to private health care. Veterans should be able to receive medical care in their local communities from a doctor or hospital that they trust. I’ve introduced legislation, the Real Choice for Veterans Act, which would help make that vision a reality….We must also focus on ways to help veterans integrate back into the private sector. Whether it is through job training programs or encouraging employers to hire veterans, we should do more to make life easier for those who have served. It is the least we can do. Ultimately, there is no greater responsibility of the Congress than to care for those who have served our great nation.”
US Representative Terri A Sewell (R-Selma) said, “Today we salute the selfless sacrifices of our nation’s 21 million veterans. These patriots have kept our nation safe while defending our nation at home and abroad. They have served our country with distinction, and we should honor them for their bravery and courage with actions — not simply words.”
Rep. Sewell continued, “Congress must continue to support and provide critical resources to the Veterans Administration (VA) to ensure that our veterans have access to quality health care, good-paying jobs, affordable housing, and opportunities to continue their education. We should not deny the very liberties they fought to protect, nor deny them any benefits they so fittingly deserve. I am committed to ensuring that we honor the promises that were made to these American heroes. Today, we reaffirm our commitment to them and their families by vowing to make sure they succeed. They deserve nothing less.”
US Representative Mo Brooks (R-Huntsville) said in a statement, “On Veterans Day we honor the service and commitment of our men and women in uniform and their families, past and present. North Alabama is home to thousands of armed forces members who have chosen to serve this great nation, and it was a joy to spend the day recognizing many of them at the Veterans Day breakfast at the VBC, the Fallen Soldier’s Battlefield Memorial ribbon cutting and dedication, and the Veterans Day program at the Floyd E. “Tut” Fann State Veterans Home. Today and every day, be sure to thank a Veteran.”
State Senator and US Marine Corps veteran Bill Holtzclaw (R-Madison) said, “Wonderful Veterans Day Program at Tut Fann Veterans Home this afternoon. Our Nation thanks you all for your service. Thank you to the staff for caring for these heroes! Semper Fi – Bill.”
State Senator Paul Bussman (R-Cullman) said, “Just wanted to pause today to say “THANK YOU’ to our veterans. Because of you, I am able to live in the greatest and safest country in the world. I have the freedom to do so many things: to freely choose where I go, what I do for a living, what I can say, and the list is endless. I have had the privilege of being with many veterans (all heroes in my eyes) this week – it has made me a better person and more motivated to protect what they sacrificed for. Freedom is not free! THANK YOU VETERANS and may God bless each of you!”
Veterans Day is celebrated annually on November 11, to remember Veterans as well as the anniversary of the Armistice which ended World War I.