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January 18, 2009

Tiger Woods pays tribute to military in speech at Obama celebration

Posted at 10:58 PM by Golf.com | Categories: Barack Obama, Tiger Woods

Jan18_woods_600x400 In an inaugural celebration at the Lincoln Memorial today, Tiger Woods praised his father and "the men and women in uniform who serve our country and protect our freedom."

Woods was one of many prominent figures at Sunday's celebration, which was broadcast on HBO and featured a star-studded lineup of movie stars and musical acts. Woods has tended to stay away from political issues throughout his career, but he used his moment on stage Sunday to speak about his father, Earl Woods, who he called a role model, and the military in general. Here is the text of his remarks, as recorded at tigerwoods.com.

"I grew up in a military family, and my role models in life were my mom and dad, Lt. Colonel Earl Woods.

My dad was a special forces operator and many nights friends would visit our home. They represented every branch of the service, and every rank. In my Dad, and in those guests, I saw firsthand the dedication and commitment of those who serve. They come from every walk of life. From every part of our country. Time and again, across generations, they have defended our safety in the dark of night and far from home.

Each day, and particularly on this historic day, we honor the men and women in uniform who serve our country and protect our freedom. They travel to the dangerous corners of the world, and we must remember that for every person who is in uniform, there are families who wait for them to come home safely.

I am honored that the military is such an important part, not just of my personal life, but of my professional one as well. The golf tournament we do each year here in Washington is a testament to those unsung heroes. I am the son of a man who dedicated his life to his country, family and the military, and I am a better person for it.

In the summer of 1864, Abraham Lincoln, the man at whose memorial we stand, spoke to the 164th Ohio Regiment and said: 'I am greatly obliged to you, and to all who have come forward at the call of their country.'

Just as they have stood tall for our country, we must always stand by and support the men and women in uniform and their families. Thank you."

Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

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