Veterans, their families, students, and local community leaders paid tribute to the men and women who wear and have worn the nation's cloth, during garrison's Veterans Day ceremony at the Cold War Memorial, Nov. 7.

Service and sacrifice by selfless individuals over two centuries have made America an indispensable beacon for peace and freedom, said Garrison Commander Col. Michael Greenberg, in his opening remarks.

"Our veterans come from all walks of life, but they share the common qualities of courage, pride, determination, selflessness, dedication to duty and integrity -- all the qualities needed to make our armed forces respected throughout the world," said Greenberg.

Lt. Gen. Charles Hooper, director of the Defense Security Cooperation Agency, and a Belvoir resident, reminded the audience of the sacrifices of our nation's veterans.

"Whether you were deployed to Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, Korea standing watch on the quarterdeck, or out in the field when routine training exercises ran long, Veterans Day is the day that our nation stops to say 'thank you,'" he said. "Thank you for putting your country first so your fellow citizens can sleep soundly at night, and enjoy the freedoms that, frankly, we often take for granted."

Reflecting on a rich military life, Hooper said duty is not complete when Service members return to civilian life, because they realize the importance of others.

"To paraphrase President Ronald Reagan, 'Some people live their entire lives and wonder if they made a difference in this world.' Veterans don't have that problem," said Hooper. "I've had a lot of titles in my life -- leader, paratrooper, commander, director, and even the one I have now, general officer. But, the only one I get to keep when I take this uniform off is veteran, and that's the one I'll cherish the most."

The ceremony ended with laying a wreath, which the Belvoir Garden Club donated.