Our Quote of the Week forces us to think about what we can we do to respect and protect those who serve in the military. On this Veterans' Day, his words make us think about what we can do to truly honor our veterans, as well.
Speaking about "The Military Tradition" while he was campaigning for Vice President in 1972, Sargent Shriver described the issues that were plaguing the military at the time, and he provided a vision for restoring "the military tradition." Some of what he describes is specific to the era, particularly the details about the war on Vietnam. Much of what he says, however, continues to be applicable today. He talks about the mental and physical fatigue of troops who were forced to continue to fight in a "dirty war," and of the bureaucracy and "failure of civilian leadership" that had caused so many soldiers to lose their spirit. He commits to defend the "the rights of every man and woman in the Army," to "widen the military's traditional search for persons of talent and merit from every ethnic group and every race, to serve at every level of the officer corps," and also to ensure that every veteran who wants to work, can work when they return home. He ends his remarks by saying: "We believe that a restored military tradition will provide for us our surest way, in an uncertain world, to heed the cry of saintly men: 'No more war. War, never again.'"
As a World War II veteran who went on to devote his life to peacebuilding, justice, and service, Sargent Shriver understood the cost of war, and the value of peace, all too well. On this Veterans' Day, we're grateful for his service and for the service of all of those who have served in the military, making great sacrifices for all of us. We thank them and we commit to creating a more peaceful and secure environment for them and for all of us.