To America's Armed Forces:

We thank God for you, your courage, tenacity and vigilance.

Since the deliberate attack on our countrymen on September 11, 2001, you have been deployed around the world and have demonstrated that you can win both the war against global terrorism, and the peace in formerly inhospitable places like Iraq and Afghanistan.

The effects of the liberation you won in Iraq and Afghanistan are reverberating throughout the region: Afghanistan and Iraq successfully held their first democratic elections; the Saudis held municipal elections; the theocracy in Iran is in deep trouble from the liberation movement there; Jordan is accelerating market economic reforms; and Qatar is reforming education to give more choices to parents.

In short, you have given rise to the bright light of liberty in places where darkness has reigned for generations.

George Washington in his First Inaugural Address said: "The preservation of the sacred fire of liberty, and the destiny of the republican model of government, are justly considered deeply, perhaps as finally, staked on the experiment entrusted to the hands of the American people." Now you are passing on that sacred fire to Iraqis, Afghanis, and others throughout the region.

You Patriots -- American Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Coastguardsmen -- have plowed the ground for liberty. We remain the proud and the free because you have stood bravely in harm's way, and remain on post today. For this, we, the American People, offer our heartfelt thanks. We commit to pray for you and your families every day.

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