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Tuesday, January 20, 2009

"Bursting with pride" : Michelle Obama on the military

This is what the First Lady of the United States of America has to say about the military. The complete text can be read here (Courtesy USA Weekend).

As I take on my newest role -- first lady, I'll be thinking about what that promise means to all those whom I've had the humbling privilege to meet these past two years on the campaign trail: Americans across the country who opened their doors and hearts to share their stories with me stories I carry to this day.

I particularly cherished my visits with military families all across the country. I met so many strong and inspiring military spouses eager to share their stories, their dreams for the future and the unique challenges they face because of their families' selfless service to our country.

And if there's one thing I learned, it's that when our servicemen and women go to war, their families go with them. I saw how they take care of each other, heard how they fill in whenever the system fails and discovered that the trials they faced always were matched by the hope they shared that better days are still ahead.

The simple 35-word oath my husband will take and the peaceful transfer of power it completes makes it easy to forget that the great fortune of our citizenship isn't free at all. It's a responsibility inherited only because generations of Americans have fought and bled and died for it.

So as I watch Barack take that oath, I'll be thinking especially about those members of our American family who stand guard across the world and the loved ones who await their safe return. Because even as we mark this moment in American history, there still will be empty seats at the dinner table; there still will be spouses struggling to juggle roles and responsibilities; there still will be children who mark the passing of a birthday without Mommy and toddlers who know their father only by a grainy video stream from a far-flung corner of the globe.

My husband and I are deeply grateful for the sacrifices that these families make to protect all American families. And we join them today and every day in praying for their loved ones and their safety. They don't ask a lot in return, just a Washington that understands the challenges they face as part of their extraordinary commitment to our country.

My husband understands that commitment, and he will ensure America lives up to its end. As military families join us on Tuesday, in person and in spirit, I want each and every one of them to know that for as long as I have the tremendous honor of being your first lady, your voices will be heard, you will have an advocate in the White House, and the American promise you preserve always will extend to you, too.

All of us can learn a fundamental lesson from our military families: You don't need to wear a uniform to serve your country. We all have something to contribute to the life of this nation.

Monday is Martin Luther King Jr. Day. And to honor the legacy of a man who believed that everybody could be great because anybody can serve, my family and I will spend the day performing activities in service to others. And we'll ask all Americans to join us in making an ongoing commitment to serve their community and their country, because in this new season of hope, that's the only way we'll begin renewing America's promise for all who reach for it and all who defend it as one nation and one people.

On Tuesday night, my husband and I will tuck in our daughters like we always do. Their bedrooms will be different, their home unfamiliar. But they will drift off to sleep protected by that same sacrifice that has kept all of our families safe and safeguarded our freedom for generations -- the sacrifice of our men and women in uniform and their families.

For that, we could not be more grateful or more proud.

14 comments:

Mach22 said...

Navdeep Sir, Thanks for putting this article here. Its very true n touching too, I hope it is read by our policymakers also. I will not write further, bcoz it will make me emotional n we Indians are very emotional, Its our emotions only due to which young commissioned officers laid their life for our country during Op Vijay

Thanks again n Regards

naik said...

Sir, A perfect address by the No 1 lady of united states of America posted on the site. Thanks a lot.
All my appreciation.
Without giving any importance to the drafted wordings by michell Obama, i appreciate the feeling behind those words.
As obama said on 14 Nov, the words he choose from a 104 years old lady............Yes I Can and after mopnths of electrol campaign with full of promises and confidence, the first black president elect Mr Barak Obama proved and changed the three words of the old lady to ....Yes We Can........
Why not to adopt certain good thoughts, promises and confident footsteps of Obama.... We also can start our campaign with yes i can to see Yes We Can.

Finally thanks a lot for a fantastic service for the uniformed personnel sir.

Regards
Wg Cdr S Naik

Anonymous said...

OMG that was a great feeling reading that piece! Ii almost felt as if it included the "Unversal soldier" and his family.

Wishful thinking, perhaps but there must be many in India who may have such feelings for Indian soldiers too.

Anonymous said...

what an appropriate and befitting thought by the US first lady.how I hope that some day even our politicians will learn from others as to how to go about realising the worth of the fabalous military they inherited from the British.least they can do is to preserve it for the coming generations - a serving Col

Kaps said...

If someone has watched Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11, you will get a distinctive sense of how poorly armed forces personnel were being treated by Bush administration. The present administration's opening is a clear departure from that era. Any member of US armed forces will immediately connect with the new administration and start feeling a part of the system rather than feeling like a step child, as in the case of Indian Armed Forces.

Things move in a sine curve. I feel this is the Nadir that has been seen by the Indian Armed Forces and only way from here is up. Let's hope that leaders of our country who professed love for the previous US president, will find love for their own countrymen.

dev said...

Hope our great Babus are listening? How pathetic and small they must be feeling after reading through these lines.Thats how US is so greatly respected on this planet.Countries who play with the innocent sentiments of their soldiers have to repent.Our countrymen at large though respect the forces and thats a great solace.I salute our soldiers from the bottom of my heart and condemn the BABUS and POLITICIANS who have no regards for the sacrifices our brave soldiers make.

Anonymous said...

Lt col D S Katoch.thanx Navdeep. the article is really emotional.I m confident that the day is not far when we shall have the previlege of similar kind.

Armchair Grumbler said...

Seeing is believing, RIGHT?

There was not a single policeman any where near the Inauguration per se - only Army, Navy, Marines and Air Force.

Says something about what India thinks about the Armed Forces - you will see on 26th January and ven more on 15th August.
Jai Hind

ASK said...

Very emotional,brings tears of joy.Compare this to our Baboos & Netas who have displayed a clearly marked anti Armed Forces stance & have done everything possible to lower their morale & kill thier pride/izzat of belonging to Armed Forces.Are even hell bent to strangle setups like our AWWA.I hope our defacto first lady,Soniaji,gets to read this piece.May well inspire her to follow suit & even correct the mindset of Baboos/Netas.

KB said...

nice pep talk.
i wonder if our first lady aka the president can speak even remotely smthng like this.
sigh.

Viru said...

No wonder America is a super power. A country which does not love and respect its Armed forces can forget about becoming even a regional power forget about being a super power. In case of our country despite our so called economic growth of 10 % even Bangladesh has the guts to sponsor terrorism against us and their rangers have the balls to fire at and kill our security personnel.And what did we do ? Had a meeting with their bosses and requested them for mercy. I do repent at times to have worn the Uniform and serve these spunk less politicians and corrupt and self centered baboos. May god save this nation.

sathye said...

The coming Monday is the Republic Day and the nation will be witnessing another RD Parade. The key element of the event as always will be the marching contingents. While the armed forces contingents will be led by commissioned officers, one does not see any IPS guy leading any of the police contingents.

Having Bhel Puri as contingents march in precision and clapping with the spectators may be an evolved way of leading.

prashhanthkpp said...

It is very unfortunate that in India, let alone the wives, even the Ministers in Power don't find time for the *Forces*! Moral boosting of our Forces is left to the celebrities in Bollywood and Visual Media rather than what is expected from anybody in the **Executive**. Forget the Prime Minister, even the Ministers have no time for our Army except when a grave danger is neutralized. I can't imagine such a touching and well meant speech ever having said by anyone in the Indian context. Yesterday, we had 6 casualties in Siachen due to an Avalanche. I never saw any flutter in the Media or with the Government except for a passing foot note on one of the channels. All I can say is, we the general public salute you, the Indian Armed Forces, for permitting us sleep in peace and tranquility for which we are deeply indebted. A Thank You is all we can give, but, that we give with humility. Jai Hind, VandeMataram.

Anonymous said...

I have read "Bursting with pride", the regards paid by First Lady of USA towards Military.Have our Netas or their respectful spouses ever spoken in that language with pride for our armed forces?