(BIVN) – U.S. Congressman Kai Kahele (D), in his final weeks in office as the Representative of Hawaiʻi 2nd Congressional District, shared a Veterans Day video message on Friday.
From the video transcript:
“Today is Veterans Day, a day when our nation comes together to thank all those who have served in our Armed Forces.
Approximately 18 million Americans, 7% percent of our nation’s population, have the distinction of being veterans. All of these veterans share a common bond. As former members of our nation’s military, they raised their right hand and took a sacred oath to a document.
Of the 193 member states of the United Nations, our United States military is the only military that does not take an oath to a king, a queen, a person, a tyrant, a dictator, a country or a religion. We are the only country in the world whose military takes an oath to an idea enshrined in a document. A document called the Constitution of the United States of America.
At the birth of our nation, when the founding fathers drafted this document, they opened it with these lines “in order to form a more perfect union”. The authors knew at the time that this new nation was not a perfect union, and since then we have fought a Civil War, fought two World Wars, and added 27 amendments to strive to make this nation a more perfect union.
Members of our military, those who have served and are serving today, take an oath to protect, support, defend and – if required – give their life to an idea. A very powerful idea, built into our constitution. What it says is that you and I, no matter, who you are – male or female – it does not matter whether you are gay, or straight. Black, white, Asian or native Hawaiian. It does not matter what your last name is. Your country of origin. Your skin color. Whether you are rich or poor. It does not matter.
What matters is you are an American. Every single one of us are born free and equal. A nation where you can achieve anything you want to be. That you are judged by the content of your character, your competence, your work ethic. Not by the color of your skin. That is who we honor today.
Those veterans who served, and are serving, in our Armed Forces, and who fought in our nation’s wars. We honor their service and their sacrifice to our Nation and our Constitution. We honor their families, their husbands and wives, sons and daughters, for their service and sacrifice.
So, on behalf of Hawaii’s Second Congressional District, to all our service members past and present: Mahalo nui loa for your courage and bravery protecting our Nation and our Constitution.
Happy Veterans Day.”