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As we celebrate Remembrance Day today, we can be grateful to the American soldiers returning from Afghanistan, where our troops have been deployed since 2001 in response to the September 11 attacks.

Most importantly, today we pay tribute to those who did not return home, to those who gave their lives in this country, and to all who died in American wars.

Those we honor today hold a special place in our nation’s Hall of Heroes.

We know that no one is involved in the military planning not to return home. But anyone who volunteers for military service knows the risks and the opportunities, especially in times of war. That is why we should marvel at the heroism of the masses of young men who enlisted en masse at the start of the great American wars. They are described as anxious and determined to enlist, get their training and take action as quickly as possible to make a difference.

The sad, horrible and painful reality of the war, however, prevented many of them from returning. Those who died defending their country and their freedom are remembered today on Remembrance Day.

If America is a big and strong country, it is because of those who fought for our freedom, especially those who sacrificed themselves for us. We salute them today.

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