FORT MEYER, Va., Jan. 6 (UPI) -- U.S. President George W. Bush Tuesday thanked the nation's service members as he spoke at a military appreciation parade in Fort Meyer in Virginia.
"We will always remember that you answered the call to serve when your nation needed you most," Bush said. "We will always remember that you did your duty with honor and dignity. And we will always remember the debt of gratitude that each of us who lives in freedom owes to each of you who has protected it."
Bush also praised U.S. forces for having led what he called the largest military liberation since World War II.
"Because of your actions, more than 50 million Afghans and Iraqis have seen the chains of despotism broken -- and are living in the liberty that the Creator intended," the president said.
Bush also used a portion of his brief address to reflect on military decisions he made.
"The decisions I made as your commander-in-chief have not always been popular," Bush said. "But the cause you have served has always been just and right. The missions you have carried out have always been necessary."