World News

Obama: US Owes Military Veterans Its Gratitude

President Barack Obama has joined millions of Americans on Veterans Day in a salute to the men and women who have served in the country's armed forces.

Mr. Obama and his wife Michelle hosted a breakfast Monday at the White House for military veterans and their families, and later placed a wreath at Arlington National Cemetery.

President Obama said the country owes its veterans gratitude for their service. He pledged particular support for veterans returning home from battlefields in Afghanistan, as the United States' longest war winds down in the coming year.



"Today reminds us of our sacred obligation. So even though this time of war is coming to a close, our time of service to our newest veterans has only just begun."



Americans 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.

November 11 was first observed in the United States in 1919 as Armistice Day to mark the anniversary of the end of 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."

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