08 November 2001

To US Military Members and Families

I pursued my enemies and overtook them; and did not turn back until they were consumed.
I struck them down, so that they were not able to rise; they fell under my feet.
For you girded me with strength for the battle; you made my assailants sink under me.
You made my enemies turn their backs to me, and those who hated me I destroyed. — Psalm 18:37-40

If you are called to this service, your duty is to fight, kill, and, if need be, to die for the rest of us, or to support with your untiring effort those who do. Your work is hallowed in so far as the cause for which you fight is just, and in so far as you use no more force than necessary to subdue our enemies. You serve well if you fight not to destroy what you hate, but to defend what you love.

Let us here acknowledge that those who espouse pacifism do so with the expectation of living full lives only because you protect them with your willingness to make war. May a great and grateful nation welcome you home, or if your fate is beyond this world, may it always remember you. And may it take good care of those of you return with injuries.

May the rest of us take care not to squander the peace that you now buy with your courage and hard work. And may these words be a comfort and inspiration to you and your family.

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