Americans are honoring fallen U.S. military personnel in events Monday as part of Memorial Day observances across the United States.
Vice President Joe Biden attended a wreath-laying ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery outside Washington. He said the day of remembrance is mixed with sorrow and incredible pride.
Biden said the families of the fallen, along with all Americans, should take pride in the lives the military members lived, the service they provided and the nation they fought to save.
President Barack Obama is honoring service members at a Memorial Day service at the Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery near Chicago.
Memorial Day is a national holiday to pay tribute to Americans killed in military service. Parades, ceremonies and other special events are being held across the United States. This past week, the number of U.S. servicemen and women killed in the line of duty in Afghanistan surpassed 1,000. U.S. troops are preparing for a new offensive in the Taliban heartland of southern Kandahar province, involving thousands of U.S. troops.
In Iraq, a drawdown of U.S. forces is set to begin later this year.
On Sunday, thousands of motorcyclists gathered in Washington for "Rolling Thunder," an annual rally honoring U.S. military veterans.
Participants, many of them military veterans, rode their motorcycles around the National Mall to draw attention to the cases of U.S. military personnel who were held as prisoners of war, and those who are still officially missing in action.
On Saturday, Mr. Obama called on Americans to honor fallen veterans with more than words. He said Americans should make sure that members of the armed forces have all the support they need, and that military veterans receive appropriate care and assistance.
Memorial Day, observed on the last Monday in May, is considered the unofficial start of the summer season in the United States. Many Americans also spend the day enjoying barbecues and other outdoor activities.