We Salute Our Veterans
by
Commissioner Tommy Adkisson
November 15, 2001

"In the last 3,421 years of recorded history only 268 have seen no war."  This harsh fact of life is taken from Will and Ariel Durant's Lessons of History.  It gives us plenty of reason to appreciate our veterans who have borne the burden of defending our country and fighting for our interests across the globe. 

After some period of relative peace, the events of September 11, 2001, renew our understanding of the need for national preparedness.  San Antonio has been for most of its modern history, "military city USA" and so we have a very special understanding of the need for a strong military.  Without proper attention to the needs of our veterans, the quality of our military efforts will diminish.

Not terribly long ago, two independent groups of scholars and professors were asked to rate the Presidents of the United States of America.  Some would obviously choose Washington.  Others would choose Jefferson or more recent Presidents for the best President of the United States.  Both groups agreed that the best President of the United States was Abraham Lincoln. 

From before his inauguration when his predecessor James Buchanan stated that "I am the last President of the United States" to the threats to assassinate the President on his inauguration to the ordeal of the Civil War, this President delivered the highest performance a President can provide this country.  To sustain his energy during the incredible challenges he met, Lincoln leaves us with a great body of wisdom, which every American should remember. 

On March 4, 1865, President Lincoln leaves us with these words: "With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation's wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan---to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.  (emphasis added)

Let us always remember these words and the memory of those who so nobly served our Country!

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