Each year on Veterans Day, Americans come together to remember those who have sacrificed their lives on behalf of our country in the name of freedom and democracy. The debt owed to them is immeasurable. Without the brave efforts of all the soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen and women, and their families, our country would not live so freely.
On this Veterans Day, while we remember those who are with us from past conflicts, we continue to be engaged in hostilities in Iraq and Afghanistan. Let us honor the memory of the over 4,400 Americans who have died serving our country in these two conflicts. As you know, thousands of patriotic Americans on Long Island have answered their country's call in times of need and proudly served in the Armed Forces.
I am honored to represent these brave men and women in Congress and am advancing a legislative agenda that addresses the concerns of all veterans. During the last and current Congress, there have been substantial investments made to help our troops and our veterans. This Congress increased veterans funding by a larger amount than any previous Congress. The Congress has focused specifically in three areas:
Health Care – ensuring that our active duty troops and our veterans have access to the best quality health care.
Education – providing veterans with the educational opportunities that they deserve.
Economy – ensuring that the veterans that have served our country are able to find employment, own a home, start a business and have all of the other tools necessary to succeed in the 21st Century economy.
Also, as we celebrate this Veterans Day, we must remember that the American flag is more than a piece of cloth, it is our national symbol of unity. I believe it is wrong for people to vandalize the flag, which is why I have proudly co-sponsored legislation that proposes an amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which would authorize Congress to prohibit the physical desecration of the flag of the United States.
In honor of the millions of American men and women who gave so much in defense of this nation and the flag that represents the history of our nation, I am committed to doing everything I can to ensure our symbol of national pride and freedom is protected. Let us all thank and remember our troops and veterans on Veterans Day as we remember their patriotic sacrifices. We renew our commitment to keep our promises to the nation's three million troops and reservists, their families and the 23 million veterans.