United States service members accept a call to something greater than the individual. They recognize and respect the commitment necessary to unify and achieve a goal that enriches not only themselves but the entire collection of people they represent. As public employees we perform uniquely different work, but we also know about taking on a professional responsibility of service to the greater community. We understand the ideas and importance of shared responsibility, sacrifice, and commitment. We know how interdependent our state and local government institutions are, and only with our professionalism and class do we continue to make Maryland work.
Many people who make the decision to serve in the United States Armed Forces do so in the name of family, tradition, or love of country. Veterans are at once bridges and safeguards. They are bridges because the armed forces, like many forms of public employment, are often the most reliable pathway to the middle class for many American families. The Armed Forces have served for generations to change the fortunes of families and communities throughout the United States helping to secure a safe, comfortable household and all the socio-economic benefits that grow from home stability. The Armed Forces have also been bridges to unify Americans. Since President Truman desegregated the Armed Forces in 1948, our country has been made stronger and more cohesive by the bonds service members build across cultures and backgrounds.
Finally, however, our service members are safeguards. They safeguard parts of life that may not be pleasant but are often necessary. They safeguard us from the danger and harm that comes along with combat. They are safeguards from imminent threats that face us as citizens. They are safeguards from the people in parts of the world that may mean Americans harm, but never are able to realize that harm thanks to the security provided by Armed Forces members.
This Veterans Day, we are thankful for the work of our service members both those active today and years past. We appreciate their commitment, sacrifice, and service. A grateful nation thanks them for their duty, and as public employees, it is our pleasure to provide high quality service to those Marylanders who have committed themselves to the shared prosperity of our state and country. A Warm Veterans Day to our AFT-Maryland veterans. We are truly thankful for your service!