From NBC's Courtney Kube and Mark Murray
Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld has taped a good-bye message to the members of the U.S. military that began airing on the Pentagon channel this afternoon. In it, Rumsfeld thanks the men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces, who he says "define the American spirit." He brings up the elections in Iraq and the seating of the first democratically elected President in Afghanistan. "You made them possible," he says.
The message runs about five minutes, with Rumsfeld looking straight into the camera with an American flag and the Secretary of Defense seal over his shoulders. "You will remain in my thoughts and prayers," Rumsfeld says.
Tomorrow, President Bush heads to the Pentagon to participate in an Armed Forces full honor review that honors Rumsfeld.