U.S. President Barack Obama is joining millions of Americans in observing the annual Veterans Day holiday Monday.
Mr. Obama and his wife Michelle are hosting a breakfast at the White House for military veterans and their families, and will later participate in the traditional wreath-laying ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery.
In his Veterans Day proclamation, Mr. Obama said U.S. veterans "represent the American character at its best." He said the country's obligations to those who have served "endure long after the battle ends."
Cities and states throughout the U.S. honor veterans in a variety of ways, often with parades. In (the central state of) Oklahoma, a new wall commemorating Vietnam veterans is being dedicated that is a smaller version of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington.
The holiday was first observed in the United States in 1919 as Armistice Day, marking the day one year earlier, November 11, 1918, when the United States and its allies reached a formal agreement with Germany to end World War One.
The holiday was renamed Veterans Day in 1954 to honor American veterans of all wars.
In Britain Sunday, thousands gathered in central London to observe a two-minute moment of silence during Remembrance Sunday, which is observed on the nearest Sunday to the anniversary of the end of the so-called "war to end all wars."