It’s a beautiful, beautiful autumn day. The sun is shining, the skies are clear, the temperature is perfect. Nothing like the scorching heat, the bitter cold, and intense storms that confronted many of you here today and our troops through every conflict in every age.
主體內容引述鄉土小說家 John Steinbeck 《伊甸園東》說 'A soldier is the most holy of all humans because he is the most tested.’ (人類當中，軍人尤為神聖，因他經受最深的試煉。)
One of my favorite lines is from a book by John Steinbeck, East of Eden, where Cyrus Trask describes to his son Adam what it means to be a soldier, and here’s he says to his son: 'A soldier is the most holy of all humans because he is the most tested. A soldier must coldly learn to put himself in the way of losing his own life without going mad. If you can bring yourself to face not shadows but real death, described and recognizable, by bullet or sabre, arrow or lance, then you need never be afraid again.'
另一段引英國詩人 John Milton說 'They also serve who only stand and wait.' (就是只站崗待命，亦在盡職。) 然後細述他太太靜靜為服役國民後備軍的兒子祈禱的姿態，向台下的軍人家眷說：你們都熟悉這些時刻。
The English poet John Milton once wrote, 'They also serve who only stand and wait.' When our son Beau, a major in the Delaware National Guard, was deployed to Iraq for a year, my wife, who’s a professor, would leave early for school, and I’d get up and I’d walk into the little kitchen in the Vice President’s home, and without fail I’d see her standing over the sink with a cup of coffee in her hand mouthing a prayer that the wife of the adjutant general of the Delaware National Guard gave her.
You’ve all done that... you spouses, you moms, your dads, your children. When they were deployed, there [weren't] three hours that went by that they didn’t cross your mind. You all know what it’s like. And we owe you, we owe you as much as we owe your sons and daughters, your husbands and wives.
My Jill points out that only fewer than 1 percent of America’s population serves in uniform, but over 99 percent of Americans owe that 1 percent so much more than we could ever repay. It’s my firm belief that we do owe them. We have an obligation to care for and equip those who we send to war, and care for them and their families when they come home. As I said earlier, it’s the only sacred obligation a government has, and we’re honor-bound to keep it.