On Saturday, our office hosted "Academy Day" at the Museum of Aviation at Robins Air Force Base. Representatives from each of our country's prestigious Service Academies met with prospective candidates who were in search of any insight that might help their chances of gaining admittance to an academy.
This event was held on the eve of the tenth anniversary of the September 11th attacks. I spoke with dozens of bright and talented young men and women, most of whom were around seven years old on that now infamous day in 2001. The majority of their lives have been spent in an era of increased threat to America and with our country at war. Yet these high school seniors still carried dreams of becoming military officers and, if called, serve our nation in armed conflict abroad.
In spite of the increased challenges we face in a post-9/11 era, these young Americans were not deterred. Their generation represents a new era of patriotism. In their faces, I saw the embodiment of the spirit of this great nation and the reason why I continue to believe, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that America will always be the greatest nation this earth has ever known.
In Congress, we bear a great responsibility to preserve the individual liberties, personal freedoms and economic opportunities of the generations that will lead our country long after we are gone. In the end, these young men and women will be the ones answering the call to serve and fight for our freedom, and they deserve our full support as they join the world's greatest military.
In the House Armed Services Committee, we work to ensure that those who serve our nation receive the tools they need to defend our nation--from the equipment they use, to the protective uniforms they wear, to the care they receive once the mission is accomplished. We owe these men and women -- and their families -- a great debt of gratitude for their service. They take care of us and taking care of them must be our paramount objective.
An era of fiscal irresponsibility has ushered in an age of fiscal accountability. The American people are learning to prioritize spending. The federal government is learning this lesson as well. Our military has continued the tradition of excellence for which the American military is known because of their greatest resource--the dedication and spirit of our service members. As we prepare a new generation of war fighters, we must remain committed to providing them the resources they need to complete the mission.
Thank you to all who serve our nation and the families who offer their unwavering support. The American spirit endured through September 11, 2001. It is alive and well in the young men and women I met on Saturday and the other service members in America. We're thankful for their willingness to serve. America will remain the greatest country on earth because of it.