Director's Corner

Release Date: November 11, 2015

With Gratitude to NETL’s Veterans


November is a month that features two time-honored American traditions. It is when we exercise our democracy by electing our leaders, and it is also when we pause to give thanks for our many blessings with a festive national holiday of kindness, gratitude and fellowship. There is a third solemn November tradition that is just as much a part of the fabric of America: the day when we honor and pay tribute to the men and women without whose military service the essence of the first two traditions may never have endured. November is when we honor our nation’s military veterans.

Because NETL has been blessed with the service and experience of so many veterans, we are particularly called to action to pay tribute. As Director, I personally want to recognize the men and women of our lab who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces. 
As employees of a National Laboratory, we understand what service to our country means as we work daily toward the greater good. Your inventions and discoveries aim to advance our nation’s energy security and improve our citizens’ quality of life for generations to come. NETL’s veterans, because they have already taken service to our country to a higher level, understand the critical nature of that unified devotion to innovation and progress.

From the veterans of the World Wars, the Korean War and the Vietnam War to veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, America’s brave men and women have worked with boldness and valor to advance our American ideals and defend our home. I hope each of you will take time to acknowledge our veterans and the mettle and dedication they have so ably demonstrated.

President John F. Kennedy observed, “As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.” It would be impossible to weigh the sacrifice, or measure the gallantry, of our veterans who selflessly answered the call of duty to our nation. What we can do is say thank you and ensure that the courage, dedication and sacrifice of our military is never in vain.

For America’s service men and women, the legacy of pride in their country and in their service to their fellow Americans remains vibrant and strong. This Veteran’s Day, I encourage each of us in the NETL family to honor our veterans, appreciate the magnitude of their service, and contemplate the fact that their sacrifice enables us to enjoy a life of freedom and fulfillment not just in November, but every day of the year.

As Acting Director of NETL, Sean I. Plasynski, Ph.D., builds on an extensive background in energy as he leads NETL in its mission to enhance the nation’s energy independence and protect the environment for future generations. For more information about Sean Plasynski's experience, please click here.