U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Miami
"As our nation pauses to recognize Veterans Day, my wife Jeanette and I stand with all Americans in honoring those who have served in our armed forces. To the more than 20 million veterans living in the United States today, including the 1.6 million in Florida alone, we owe a tremendous debt of gratitude. It is because of the strength and valor of these men and women that the American people enjoy rights that have been so rare throughout the history of mankind, including the freedom to live our lives under the light of liberty, in a peaceful homeland, unbound by fear of oppression.
"Throughout our history, Americas veterans have met and defeated countless forces that have wished us ill, allowing our freedom to grow, prosper and spread as a model for the world. But as we reflect on the legacy of our veterans, we are also reminded of the families that have sacrificed greatly to ensure that their achievements were possible. The strength and support of our military families is a vital part of our national defense, and we proudly honor these families today.
"Veterans Day also allows us an opportunity to reflect on the sacrifices of the armed services members currently serving at home and abroad. These men and women face enemies that are filled with disdain for our nation's guiding principles, yet each night we are able to put our children to bed with the knowledge that we are secure and safe, guarded by Americans of the highest honor and the greatest courage. We thank these men and women for their service, and we pray for the success of their mission and safe return home.
"Americans in uniform have always stood as a paragon of selflessness, courage and devotion, and as such are an extraordinary example to their countrymen. So on this Veterans Day, I encourage all Americans to join together in wishing our veterans, active-service members and their friends and family a peaceful, meaningful Veterans Day. May God bless all of our veterans, and may God bless America."
Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi
"Every day, brave men and women risk their lives for the sake of our country. Because of their selfless courage, we are able to live freely. On Monday, we will celebrate Veterans Day by honoring those who have served in the United States armed forces.
"We must never forget the importance of protecting this great nation. Our veterans deserve our respect and recognition for their service. I offer my sincere gratitude to each man and woman who has served our country. It is because of you that we can call America the land of the free and the home of the brave."
Florida Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater
The Florida Chamber of Commerce respectfully honors the 1.6 million Floridians that have served our country. Our veterans have made tremendous sacrifices protecting our country and our freedoms, and we owe them a great debt of gratitude and respect.
The Florida Chamber and our partners in the business community earlier this year joined Governor Rick Scott, incoming Senate President Don Gaetz and incoming House Speaker Will Weatherford in launching Hiring Floridas Heroes -- a year-long effort aimed at connecting returning members of the National Guard and other veterans with employment opportunities.
Were seeing positive success. The unemployment rate for members of Floridas National Guard continues to drop -- falling to 6 percent in September 2012, from a 15 percent high in September 2011. Business members of the Florida Chamber and employers throughout Florida have helped put nearly 24,000 veterans into jobs since January.
Sometimes heroes need advocates, too. That is why the Florida Chamber proudly encourages private-sector businesses to honor the tremendous sacrifices of our military by hiring our talented veterans and their military spouses.
Floridas strong third-place national ranking for greatest number of veteran-owned businesses has helped generate $61 billion in economic activities and more than 300,000 jobs.
Today and every day, but especially on Veterans Day, please thank a veteran.
Reach Jim Turner at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (772) 215-9889.