Good morning, and thank you for joining us for this important ceremony.

CU-Boulder is extremely fortunate to have a strong military community on campus, with more than 700 student veterans.

The leadership and life experience that our student veterans bring to campus, the classroom, and student government is a significant factor in the University of Colorado Boulder's current and future success.

The veterans here today—many who served in combat—have changed the course of history.

Since our entry into World War I in 1917, brave young Americans have fought for democracy around the world.

They did so on Omaha Beach, 70 years ago—June 6, 1944, and our courageous young men and women continue to do so, all over the world.

America's military has endured an extremely high operational tempo since 9/11, and our nation will forever be indebted to our veterans for their sacrifice and courage.

I encourage you to take a moment and consider the debt of gratitude we owe our veterans. Without their service and dedication, our freedom and liberties would not be as secure as they are today.

The adage that "freedom isn't free" is true, and it's our veterans who have paid the highest price for that freedom.

With so much attention focused on the things that divide us as a nation, it's far too easy to overlook that which unifies us: our gratitude for those serving and those who have served.

Please don't forget to thank a vet—it's the one day of the year our country has set aside to honor our veterans, and acknowledge their defense of American ideals, principles, and liberties.

While we do not know what the future holds, we do know that our service members are ready to guarantee our nation's security, protect our rights and liberties, and insure our nation remains as strong and vibrant as ever.

I'd like to thank all the veterans and their families here today.Your service does not go unappreciated.I'd also like to thank those service members and their families who are deployed right now, serving across the globe to protect our freedom.