The world owes much to the heroes of that day and the days that followed as they fought their way through the hedgerows of Europe and the skies above in order to defeat Nazi Germany. We owe much of our way of life to the “greatest generation” that not only saved our way of life but also helped transform that sleeping giant known as the United States of America. I ask all to reflect on what we have been given and to express our eternal gratitude to those before us who worked and gave us the great country we enjoy today.
Here at the Department we share the mantra, “Every Day is Veterans Day.” Recently we honored Native American Veterans for their service and sacrifice with a ceremony on the State Capitol grounds. I had the honor of being part of the Native American Plaque dedication. It was a special day, the sky was clear with an eagle flying overhead, as we dedicated the plaque and reflected upon the contributions Native Americans have made in their service to our country. Their contributions to our nation’s military were noted by General George Washington and have continued on to today’s conflicts. It has also been documented that Native Americans, percentage-wise, are the largest ethnic group to have served in our nation’s armed forces. The Department of Defense’s research found that this high percentage has been, in part, due to their cultural attributes of strength, honor, devotion, pride and wisdom. I commend and thank our state leaders, community members and fellow Minnesotans for their continued support of our state’s heroes.