Thank you, Senator Ogden, and my thanks also for the hard work put in by yourself and your colleagues in the Senate, as well as the House through what has been a challenging session.
It's a pleasure, and an honor, to be with you all today.
Every session, members from both chambers and both sides of the aisle take some time to put aside our differences and gather here in memory of those who have fallen in Afghanistan, Iraq and anywhere our forces have engaged against the minions of global terror.
The global war on terror began as a response to an unprovoked attack, an attack designed to demoralize us as much as to destroy our way of life.
They miscalculated our ability, as a nation, to rise above the ruins, just as they miscalculated our resolve to continue the battle wherever it takes us, and our determination to bring to justice every organization and individual plotting death and destruction against the citizens of this nation.
Earlier this month, the United States scored a major victory in the Global War on Terror, as the main architect behind the Sept. 11 attacks and the global face of the jihad movement, finally met justice at the hands of the U.S. military.
This was once again a great credit to the bravery, hard work and determination of our men and women in the armed forces, along with the unsung heroes in our intelligence community who had spent years of their lives in the line of fire hunting down this man.
However, the death of bin Laden is not an end to the larger war, and the struggle to protect our homeland is ongoing.
So we will continue to call upon the best and brightest to stand between us and those who would do us harm, and join the long line that takes up arms to defend others.
Many of them, like many I've visited with over the last decade, will come home facing long roads back from debilitating injuries - some of the injuries visible, and some not.
All too many will not come home at all.
As we honor these brave Texans who made the ultimate sacrifice, we also continue to offer our heartfelt condolences to those who love them.
It can be no easy thing to balance admiration for your fallen warrior with the realities of a life that continues to unfold, one challenging day after another.
Please know that the people of Texas genuinely appreciate the service and sacrifice of our military personnel, and lift up their survivors in our thoughts and prayers.
As President Lincoln so eloquently wrote almost 150 years ago to a mourning mother,
"I pray that our Heavenly Father may assuage the anguish of your bereavement and leave you only the cherished memory of the loved and lost, and the solemn pride that must be yours to have laid so costly a sacrifice upon the altar of freedom."
In the days to come, I encourage you to live your life fully because you know that each day is precious, and be assured that the cause for which your loved ones fought and died is still a just and noble cause.
All of us in Texas must endeavor to live our lives in a fashion worthy of the sacrifices of your loved ones.
May God bless you and, through you, may He continue to bless the great state of Texas.