My husband gave a speech the other day to the BMTCP graduates. It was very last minute, in fact he was asked the night before...but he did it and I am a very proud wife. The video cuts in and out quite a bit so I have written out his speech below.
Good morning distinguished guests...
staff and students, family and friends...
And the reason why we are here today…class 165-170
I am standing here today very humbled and grateful for the opportunity to share this great moment in your career.
Today is an important right of passage. You been dedicated, you have persevered, and you have built a strong foundation for the rest of your career.
I have no doubt in my mind that you will take all the knowledge given to you by your instructors and you will leave these doors of Anderson Hall and do great things.
I am honored to stand here with you today knowing that we have all made a similar choice to stand up for our country and defend her.
As I stand here before you today, I am remembering this day 11 years ago, when a hidden enemy devastated our country. Millions of Americans were glued to their television sets watching the horror unfold.
What we saw that day was two pillars of freedom fall. Our Pentagon was attacked. A plane full of brave Americans took down a hijacked flight .
The day was confusing, things were scary and you couldn’t stop watching the coverage. You couldn’t eat, you couldn’t sleep…life stood still.
But the thing about America is, you can never keep her down. She will always overcome obstacles. And she is able to do this because of the brave men and women who will stand up and say, “I will defend her.".... Just like you, just like your instructors, just like everyone in this auditorium. We all took a stand.
As we come into this building every morning we see the faces of those who have gone before us and paid the ultimate sacrifice…we also honor them today.
John 15:13 says,
“greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.”
We saw examples of this that day when we saw men and women of service, running towards danger. Most of these responders that day were police officers, fire fighters, medical personnel and other heroic volunteers, but the one thing we all answer the same call when our country cried out for us.
And today, it is you. You are answering the call. Today is your day to stand tall and know that you have a whole country behind you, supporting you.
Its not always going to be easy. There are things out there that we would never be able to prepare you for.
But if I could give you any one single piece of advice today, it would be that you keep the same dedication and pride that you feel today, with you throughout your entire journey and on your hardest days ahead. And Ladies and Gents, there will be hard days.
But just know that your family is proud of you, your instructors are proud of you and you have an entire country that is proud of you. You are the ones who stood up in a time of war and said YES, I will defend our country.
On September 20th President Bush brought our nation together. In that speech he laid out his plans for the perpetrators of that day.
“I will not forget the wound to our country and those who inflicted it. I will not yield, I will not rest, I will not relent in waging this struggle for freedom and security for the American people.” This is the call that we answered. This is what you are standing up for today.
It was these words spoken to us by the president that inspired me to join the Navy. It is probably why some of your instructors joined. And maybe the reason why some of you joined.
In May 2010, I got the chance to go to Fleet Week in New York City. I was given the honor of re-enlisting at Ground Zero. Right where the towers fell. Seeing the faces of the people of New York, their gratitude and gratefulness is why I am still here today. It is why I am still in the fight.