WASHINGTON, Aug. 6 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following are Vice President Cheney's remarks at the 84th National Convention of the Marine Corps League:
Albuquerque Marriott Hotel
Albuquerque , New Mexico
10:29 A.M. MDT
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Thank you all very much. At ease, please. (Laughter.) Well, thank you, Paul, and good morning to everybody. I appreciate the warm welcome. It's almost enough to make me want to run for office again. (Laughter.) Almost. It's a pleasure to be with the men and women of the Marine Corps League.
And I want to thank your National Commandant, Jack Ryan for the invitation to be with all of you today. I've been pleased to know some extraordinary Marines over the years -- and these include fine Americans like General Pete Pace , our chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff -- (applause) -- and an old friend and colleague of mine, General Al Gray , who was Commandant of the Corps when I was -- (applause.) I worked closely with Al when I was Secretary of Defense back in the days when I had real power and influence in Washington. (Laughter.)
But I'm a lifelong admirer of the Marine Corps -- its nearly 232 years of service, its record of noble achievement, and its worthy traditions. To say that Marine Corps standards are high and demanding and tough-minded would be an understatement. I think the idea is better expressed in an old saying: "To err is human, to forgive divine -- neither of which is Marine Corps policy." (Applause.)
We're in distinguished company this morning. In addition to your fine Commandant, I want to thank your National Executive Director, Mike Blum , and Convention Chairman John Cleveland . We all appreciate the hospitality of our friends here in New Mexico , so let me thank John Garcia , the Secretary of Veterans Affairs for the state of New Mexico , and thank all of them for being here today.
Above all, I want to thank the members of the Marine Corps League -- patriotic Americans who have proudly worn the eagle, globe, and anchor, and who continue to serve the traditions of the Corps and the interests of the United States of America. Membership in the League shows your commitment to being "Marines for Life." You're role models for the younger generation, advocates for veterans, and steady, reliable friends of our fellow citizens on active duty today.
You look out for our military families as well, and you've shown special care for the men and women who have returned from the battle with injuries and disabilities. As Marines you know what it means to put self interest and personal convenience down at the bottom of the list, well behind the call to duty, the code of honor, and the needs of the nation. So I thank you for your service, as well as for the privilege of being part of your 84th National Convention. And I bring respect and good wishes to all of you from the President of the United States , George W. Bush.
The work of the League carries added significance in times like these, as the nation confronts a continuing danger, as American soldiers and Marines slug it out against merciless enemies in Iraq and Afghanistan . Being Marines, you have valuable perspective on what our military is dealing with at this very hour. And because you're leaders in your communities, your help is very important as we remind fellow citizens of the nature of our broader war on terror, the stakes of our country, and the need for a systematic and a decisive victory.
We're just weeks away from another anniversary of the attacks of September 11th, 2001 . Much will be said and written about how America changed that day, and how the world has changed in the six years since. One thing, however, has not changed, and that is the determination of al Qaeda and its affiliates to hit us again, hard and repeatedly.