Two Compelling Minutes of Gratitude—The State of the Union

By: Dr. Lynn Reaser

ImagePresident Obama delivered his State of the Union address on Tuesday evening in front of Congress, public officials, invited guests, and Americans tuned in through their TVs, radios, or mobile devices.  It contained a wide range of Presidential requests for Congress as well as planned Executive actions.  Some of the speech was bipartisan, while other parts, such as discussion of the Affordable Care Act, saw the Democrats clapping while Republicans sat on their hands.

For two minutes, however, the nation stood united as the President pointed to the sacrifices of U.S. Army Ranger Sgt. First Class Cory Remsburg.  Sergeant Remsburg was wounded severely in Afghanistan on his tenth tour of duty in various areas of the world.  The applause lasted nearly two minutes—by far, the longest of the evening.

Our military men and women continue to make deep sacrifices for our nation—a fact that we only periodically recognize.  In San Diego, we have a disproportionate number of these outstanding men and women.  Active duty military personnel now number nearly 106,000 in our region, accounting for one out of every 15 working adults in San Diego County.  Many of them, like Sergeant Remsburg, have seen multiple deployments.

Perhaps the most important message of Tuesday night’s speech was the strength and resilience of our men and women in uniform.  The large presence of these individuals in our region should make all San Diegans especially grateful and deeply proud.


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