Veterans Day Address – Rep. Bill Taylor, Aiken Veterans Day Ceremony, Nov 11, 2021
It is an honor to stand before you once again.
Today we bask in a glorious day. Let us each praise God for our bountiful lives for we are here today by God’s grace.
We also are here because of soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines. For it is through their dedicated service that the American experiment is still alive.
Veterans, to each of you and your families who stood by you, for all your sacrifices, a grateful nation, and the people gathered here in your honor say, thank you and salute you for your service.
On this Veteran’s Day, I speak directly to those who served our nation in the military.
I have stood at this podium many times over the past eleven years. Today, my words will be different, and they will be short on platitudes but forthright with straight talk.
My remarks aren’t intended to be political, although some will interpret them that way and possibly find my words displeasing. I apologize in advance, and I mean no personal offense.
My message is patriotic. It is about America – the most remarkable experience in personal liberty the world has ever seen.
President Reagan referred to America as that “shining city upon the hill whose beacon lights guide freedom-loving people everywhere.”
That city on the hill does not seem very shiny in the year 2021.
- A pandemic that was hijacked by politicians whose decisions have had deadly consequences.
- Illegal government mandates handed down from on high forcing citizens to choose between the jab of an experimental vaccine or their jobs and livelihoods.
- Skyrocketing inflation felt by each of us at the cash registers and gas pumps.
- A government that prints money and pours it out on citizens makes it easier and more profitable to stay home rather than work.
- A national debt that is ballooning this nation’s finances to the breaking point.
- A broken supply chain results in barren shelves in some stores – and warnings that Christmas presents will be challenging to find.
All that pales to one of our most significant ailments – the door to our nation’s southern border has been thrown open with a welcome mat.
- Millions of invaders are pouring in to latch on to government welfare — money that’s coming out of your pocket.
- The open border is bringing drugs, thugs, gangs, and child traffickers – and most certainly terrorists.
- Beyond domestic woes, the abrupt military withdrawal from Afghanistan and the chaotic scramble that left Americans behind was a defining moment. America tucked tail and ran. And, then there are those Afghans who supported our troops – left to fend for themselves after their names were turned over to the victors by our government.
- Some applaud the withdrawal because they see it as the end of the War on Terror. I pray you’re right. But experts say we have merely invited that war to be fought here on the homeland in America instead of taking the fight to them. They warn of another 9/11 or worse.
- Some of those currently leading our military are best labeled as WOKE — those Generals and Admirals who seem to be more focused on rooting out so-called “Domestic Terrorists” in the military – those with Conservative values – than staunchly protecting our nation.
- Those so-called leaders have shown they embrace the new social-cultural norms and the teachings of Critical Race Theory, which divides people rather than uniting warriors to battle in our defense.
- Meanwhile, our military preparedness is waning. Our enemies – and yes, America has enemies who wish to destroy us – are advancing their armies, navies, and air power.
- Just last week, during an international military exercise in California, British news reported that the U.S. Marine Corps asked for a “reset” after Brits defeated them halfway through a five-day simulated battle. One report wrote that the Royal Marines’ Commandos ‘dominated’ American troops and forced them into a humiliating surrender halfway through the exercise. A Marine Corps spokesman said the report was inaccurate.
Veterans, this is not the America you served to defend and protect. Far from it. America is rapidly transforming – and not for the better.
We must not let the absurdities of today become the norms of tomorrow.
We all recognize you served your time. You did your duty.
But before you rest easy, I remind you of Ronald Reagan’s warning:
“Freedom is a fragile thing, and it’s never more than one generation away from extinction. It is not ours by way of inheritance. It must be fought for and defended constantly by each generation. For it comes only once to a people. And those in world history who have won freedom and lost it, have never known it again.”
Veterans, your oath has no expiration date – “to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic…so help you, God.”
It is time for soul-searching. You’re never too old. Is the time at hand to call yourself back to duty? Is it your calling to stand up, speak up, and not concern yourself by being canceled by the small minority who aim to silence and shame you into submission?
You decide. But remember – the road to Socialism and America’s destruction runs straight through a divided nation.
Veterans, you are this nation’s strength. Your country needs you now more than ever.
I often close by asking God to Bless America.
Today is different. Today I beseech our Creator – GOD, SAVE AMERICA FROM ITSELF.