News / USA

Obama Honors US Veterans

President Barack Obama (l) participates in a wreath-laying ceremony on Veterans Day at the Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia, Nov 11, 2011
President Barack Obama (l) participates in a wreath-laying ceremony on Veterans Day at the Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia, Nov 11, 2011
Kent Klein

President Barack Obama honored America’s war veterans Friday, as part of Veterans’ Day observances.  The president took part in ceremonies at the nation’s largest military cemetery.

On a sunny, windy autumn day at Arlington National Cemetery, a military band and chorus performed patriotic music, in tribute to those who have served in the nation’s armed forces.  

A military honor guard presented its weapons, and President Obama laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns, then bowed his head.

A short time later, the president thanked the roughly 22 million American veterans for their service.

“You are part of an unbroken chain of men and women who have served this country with honor and distinction," said President Obama. "On behalf of a proud and grateful nation, we thank you.”

Mr. Obama reminded those at the ceremony that his administration is ending the US wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“In just a few weeks, the long war in Iraq will finally come to an end," said Obama. "Our transition in Afghanistan is moving forward.  My fellow Americans, our troops are coming home.”

When those troops arrive, they will face a sluggish economy, where unemployment has persisted at about nine percent for several months.

The president said he has ordered the federal government to increase the number of veterans it hires.  And he and his wife Michelle have mounted a campaign to persuade private industry to put thousands of veterans to work.

“Our economy needs their tremendous talents and specialized skills, so I challenged our business leaders to hire 100,000 post - 9/11 veterans and their spouses over the next few years, and yesterday, many of these leaders joined Michelle to announce that they will meet that challenge," he said.

The president and Mrs. Obama began the day by hosting a White House breakfast for veterans.

The observances at Arlington were the president’s last appearances before leaving on a nine-day trip to Hawaii, Australia and Indonesia.  

In the state of Hawaii, where Mr. Obama was born, he will host the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum, or APEC, and the North American leaders’ summit.  He will later attend the East Asia summit in the Indonesian resort of Bali.  

Mr. Obama’s first stop on the trip combines a salute to veterans with his favorite sport, basketball.  The president and first lady were to attend a college basketball game (North Carolina vs. Michigan State) on the deck of the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson, off the coast of California.

The body of al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden was buried at sea from the deck of the Vinson earlier this year.

Veterans’ Day began as Armistice Day, marking the agreement ending World War I at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month of 1918.  It was later renamed Veterans’ Day and broadened into a national holiday saluting all who have served in the US armed forces.

You May Like

In China, Mixed Signals on Ebola Controls

How authorities are monitoring at-risk individuals remains unclear, including whether there are quarantines for Chinese health workers returning from West Africa More

Video Women Voters Anxious Ahead of US Elections

Analysts say if women are focused on national security, it could be bad news for Democrats More

Solar's Future Looks Brighter

New technology and dropping prices are contributing to a surge in solar power More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Women Voters Anxious Ahead of US Electionsi
X
October 31, 2014 4:10 AM
Public opinion polls show American voters are deeply dissatisfied with their government and anxious about threats from abroad. This is especially true for a key voting group both Republicans and Democrats are trying hard to win over: women. Analysts say if women are focused on national security, it could be bad news for Democrats, with majority control of the Senate at stake. VOA’s Cindy Saine looks at the crucial role women voters will play in deciding the elections.
Video

Video Women Voters Anxious Ahead of US Elections

Public opinion polls show American voters are deeply dissatisfied with their government and anxious about threats from abroad. This is especially true for a key voting group both Republicans and Democrats are trying hard to win over: women. Analysts say if women are focused on national security, it could be bad news for Democrats, with majority control of the Senate at stake. VOA’s Cindy Saine looks at the crucial role women voters will play in deciding the elections.
Video

Video Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisia

Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Africa Tells its Story Through Fashion

In Africa, Fashion Week is a riot of colors, shapes, patterns and fabrics - against the backdrop of its ongoing struggle between nature and its fast-growing urban edge. How do these ideas translate into needle and thread? VOA’s Anita Powell visited this year’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Africa in Johannesburg to find out.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.

All About America

AppleAndroid