The following speeches are designed for informational purposes or for your use as you plan for events such as Memorial Day and Veterans Day, and speaking engagements for general audiences.

Memorial Day

  • 2014

    Suggested Remarks

    It’s an honor and a pleasure to be here with you all today as we come together in remembrance…

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  • 2013

    Suggested Remarks

    Across our nation this Memorial Day, our citizens and veterans will gather to pay homage to America’s finest men and women who gave their lives in defense of freedom.

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  • 2012

    Fallen, Never Forgotten

    “Today, out of all days, I hope that the American people can put aside their own personal strife and take time to remember those who are too often out of sight, out of mind: our brave military members who have put service before self…”

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  • 2011

    We Will Remember Them

    “If what President John F. Kennedy said is true: ‘A nation reveals itself not only by the men it produces, but also by the men it honors, the men it remembers,’ there is no better place to do just that than here, right now, with all of you in this great nation of ours…”

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  • 2010

    Suggested Remarks

    “There have been many who have sacrificed terribly to maintain our nation’s independence, our democracy. But today is for those who are forever lost to us – those who made the ultimate sacrifice…”

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  • 2009

    Lest We Forget

    “‘Lest we forget – lest we forget!’ warned Kipling. This poet knew the meaning of war all too well. And he sends these phrases back to us five times in this short elegy to the dead of a war fought long ago…”

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  • 2008

    At Life’s Dear Peril

    “In the middle of an extremely important election year, the candidates say little about the wars. And they say even less about the welfare of the men and women who are risking their lives in Iraq and Afghanistan…”

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  • 2007

    Some Great Good, Dearly Held

    “Chamberlain’s words describe a war a century and a half in the past. Yet his phrases apply to our warriors in Iraq and Afghanistan – so many on their second or third tours of combat…”

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  • 2006

    Gone Into The Sullen Dark

    “It’s a difficult duty we face today, paying tribute to those killed in the cause of freedom. They died – and we live. They are forever lost to us – yet we enjoy a great gift from them…”

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  • 2005

    O My Veterans, Passing To Burial

    “It was the height of the Civil War. And Walt Whitman, who was quickly becoming America’s best-loved poet, knew the soldiers well. He had visited them on the front lines…”

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  • 2004

    Proven True In The Trust of History

    “In particular today, we pay our tribute to the heroism of those who died in our nation’s wars, advancing the great cause of human freedom. Certainly, we hold these men and women in our hearts…”

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  • 2003

    Remembrance: Dark Days of Trial

    “In March, America and its allies entered Iraq to remove Saddam Hussein from power. Since then, many more of our young men and women have come home sick and injured from the Middle East…”

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  • 2002

    We Will Remember Them

    “You can hear the voices of the past telling us to honor their sacrifices by living fully the freedoms that they bought for us with their very lives…”

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  • 2001

    We Will Remember Them

    “At our best, we pay homage to our nation’s dead all year round, not just on Memorial Day. And we honor the dead most fully when we serve those who lived but came home wounded in body, mind or spirit…”

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  • 2000

    We Will Remember Them

    “With love and longing, we gather on this day of remembrance to honor America’s patriots who gave what Lincoln called the last full measure of devotion. Their ultimate sacrifice serves as a constant reminder…”

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Veterans Day

  • 2014

    Veterans Day 2014

    All gave some, some gave all. This is a truth we veterans know above all others, as it remains with us for a lifetime.

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  • 2013

    Veterans Day 2013

    Many of you know that Veterans Day became a part of our American calendar in 1919, following the end of World War I. But many, many Novembers ago, right around this time in 1783, in Rocky Hill, New Jersey, just six years before he would serve as the first elected leader of this great nation…

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  • 2012

    Keeping Our Promises

    “I am proud to be an American, the greatest country in the world. It is our freedoms that make it so, and those freedoms were won and defended by veterans – the men and women who put the ideals of our country before themselves…”

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  • 2011

    Ten Years After 9/11

    “As we mark this day to honor veterans, we are remiss if we don’t use the occasion to reaffirm our commitment to the men and women who so honorably served and continue to sacrifice after their time in uniform has ended…”

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  • 2010

    A War Against Indifference

    “Unfortunately, as a nation, we possess an ability to collectively turn a blind eye to the military and veterans communities except on Veterans Day, Memorial Day and the 24-hour news cycle following a Wikileaks scandal…”

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  • 2009

    The Call To Service

    “Every generation of Americans has heard the call to service. And every time the call has sounded, our nation’s men and women have stepped forward, raised their right hand and sworn to defend our nation with their lives…”

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  • 2008

    Knowing War and Its Meaning

    “Every war is different, very different in its own way. But the three realities remain the same, always the same: enemy, rifle, life. The emphasis may shift a little, but the hard facts of war remain…”

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  • 2007

    Giving Meaning To The Words

    “Since the first troops left for Afghanistan, people of every political stripe have talked about supporting our troops in making their own political points about the wars…”

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  • 2006

    Offering the Highest Appreciation

    “Who can forget the challenge President Kennedy put before our citizens: ‘Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.’ With those words, he revealed the spiritual depth of the people we’ve come to know as the ‘Greatest Generation…’”

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  • 2005

    To Bring Freedom To The World

    “Our soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines stand with the people of America. They stand wit the people of the world – especially those whose lives and freedoms are crushed beneath the iron-heeled boots of dictators…”

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  • 2004

    Where The Spirit Fought Remains A Scar

    “It gives me strength to see such a lofty thought growing out of the grime, the sweat and the blood of battle. As we observe Veterans Day 2004, this idea has the power to pulse in the heart of every man and woman we honor…”

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  • 2003

    Veterans Day: A Day of Honor, Dignity, Respect and Obligation

    “There are so many places around the world where our men and women have risked life and limb. Each time, they have responded with true greatness of hear…”

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  • 2002

    Hearts Touched With Fire

    “Great pride moves through my soul today as I come to you, offering my thoughts about wars long past and the brave Americans who fought them. Yet there’s some sadness in my heart as well…”

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  • 2001

    The Flame of Memory

    “We gather at a solemn moment in the history of our great nation. On September 11th, terrorists landed a murderous blow against the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. They struck hard against freedom in America and around the world…”

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  • 2000

    Veterans Day

    “Even the memory of a war as recent as the Persian Gulf is sliding into the dark recesses of history. And how many remember the young Americans who braved danger so very recently in Bosnia and Kosovo…?”

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2013 Convention Speeches

2012 Convention Speeches

  • 2012

    Remarks of Barry Janinoski (Exec. Director, Washington)

    “National Commander Samuels, distinguished guests, and delegates to the 91st National Convention of the Disabled American Veterans: As Executive Director of National Service and Legislative Headquarters in Washington, it is an honor and a privilege to present this annual report to the membership…”

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  • 2012

    Remarks of Arthur H. Wilson (National Adjutant)

    “Together, we have won some important victories for veteran caregivers, women veterans, veterans employment, homeless veterans, veterans with mental health needs and veterans suffering from traumatic brain injury and PTSD…”

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  • 2012

    Remarks of Donald L. Samuels (National Commander)

    “Among the most exciting events during my year of service were visits to the White House to discuss veterans issues with President Obama and the First Lady. I was impressed that they consider veterans a national priority…”

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  • 2012

    Remarks of Larry Polzin (National Commander-Elect)

    “In 1971, I found myself in a tough place – The company that hired me after I was discharged from the Marine Corps five years earlier, suddenly turned its back on me when it was discovered that I needed open-heart surgery…”

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Other Speeches

  • 2014

    2014 Department Convention Speech

    The opportunity to stand before each of you today as your national guest is a tremendous honor for me…

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  • 2013

    2013 Department Convention Speech

    It is a vital time for those of us dedicated to serving veterans.

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  • 2012

    2012 Department Convention Speech

    “Success in the arena of veterans advocacy is the direct result of the dedication of men and women like you. Your passion to serve your fellow disabled veterans and their families is exemplary…”

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  • 2011

    Pearl Harbor Fixture Speech

    “It’s difficult to believe there are so few Americans alive who remember the attack seven decades ago, and the course it set for our nation. The story of Pearl Harbor is more about the courage of men and women under fire than it is about bombs and battleships…”

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  • 2011

    2011 Department Convention Speech

    “It takes a lot of hard work to make that level of service possible. It requires dedicated volunteers, diligent Department and Chapter Service officers and our enhanced training and certification program…”

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  • 2010

    2010 Department Convention Speech

    “We at the National Organization do our utmost to reflect your dedication and leadership. We also strive to maintain the legacy of service you’ve staunchly supported since joining our organization…”

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  • 2002

    POW/MIA Day Speech

    “We commemorate National POW/MIA Recognition Day by remembering the sacrifices made by those brave Americans who were taken prisoner and then returned, and those who are listed as missing in action…”

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  • 2000

    2000 National Convention Speech by Jesse Brown

    “When I think of our organization, I feel like a man with a million personal friends. Who do you know who can say he has a million friends cheering him on? Like the great poet John Donne, I understand fully that ‘No man is an island’…”

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  • 2000

    Americanism

    “I’ll bet you remember the following words from grade school and high school. I’ll bet they were drilled into your mind just as thoroughly as they were drilled into mine as a child: ‘These are the times that try men’s souls…’”

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