President Obama spoke at Camp Pendleton on Wednesday. He gave a shout out to those of us serving in suits instead of uniforms.
"But, of course, the end of the war in Afghanistan doesn’t mean the end of threats to our nation. As I’ve said before, even as we decimated the al Qaeda leadership that attacked us on 9/11, al Qaeda affiliates and like-minded extremists still threaten our homeland, still threaten our diplomatic facilities, still threaten our businesses abroad. And we've got to take these threats seriously and do all we can to confront them. We’ve been reminded of this again in recent days.
So I want to take a special time out to salute all our brave diplomats and tireless intelligence and military personnel who have been working around the clock to safeguard our embassies and our consulates and our fellow Americans serving overseas, including all those vigilant Marines standing guard at our embassies around the world. They're doing an outstanding job. (Applause.)
As for these extremists, here’s what those who would cowardly attack our civilians don’t get. The United States is never going to retreat from the world. We don't get terrorized. We’re going to keep standing up for our interests. We're going to keep standing up for the security of our citizens. We're going to keep standing up for human rights and dignity for people wherever they live. We’re going to keep working with our allies and our partners. We're going to keep offering a future of hope and progress -- in stark contrast to terrorists who only know how to kill and destroy and maim. And like generations before us, the United States of America is going to remain the greatest force for freedom that the world has ever known.
You are an integral part of that. That's what you do, serving in uniform every single day. But this is not just a job for our military. It takes diplomacy. It takes development. It takes trade. It takes intelligence to stay true to our values as a nation. This is a complicated time. The world is going through big changes, especially in the Middle East and North Africa. And we have to have a military strategy to protect ourselves. But we've also got to lead with our values and our ideals and all elements of our power."
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