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

Tired of Waiting, South Africans Demand Change ‘Now’

With chronic poverty and lack of basic services largely fueling recent xenophobic attacks, many in Rainbow Nation say it’s time for government to act More

Challenges Ahead for China's Development Plans in Pakistan

Planned $46 billion in energy and infrastructure investments in Pakistan are aimed at transforming the country into a regional hub for trade and investment More

'Forbidden City' Revisits Little Known Era of Asian-American Entertainment

Little-known chapter of entertainment history captured in 80s documentary is revisited in new digitally remastered format and book 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.
Cinema That Crosses Borders Showcased at Tribeca Film Festivali
X
April 24, 2015 4:09 AM
Among the nearly 100 feature length films being shown at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York City are more than 20 documentaries and features with international appeal, from a film about a Congolese businessman in China, to documentaries shot in Pakistan and diaspora communities in the U.S., to a poetic look at disaffected South African youth. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video Cinema That Crosses Borders Showcased at Tribeca Film Festival

Among the nearly 100 feature length films being shown at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York City are more than 20 documentaries and features with international appeal, from a film about a Congolese businessman in China, to documentaries shot in Pakistan and diaspora communities in the U.S., to a poetic look at disaffected South African youth. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video UN Confronts Threat of Young Radicals

The radicalization and recruitment of young people into Islamist extremist groups has become a growing challenge for governments worldwide. On Thursday, the U.N. Security Council heard from experts on the issue, which has become a potent threat to international peace and security. VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports.
Video

Video Growing Numbers of Turks Discover Armenian Ancestry

In a climate of improved tolerance, growing numbers of people in Turkey are discovering their grandmothers were Armenian. Hundreds of thousands of Armenians escaped the mass deportations and slaughter of the early 1900's by forced conversion to Islam. Or, Armenian children were taken in by Turkish families and assimilated. Now their stories are increasingly being heard. Dorian Jones reports from Istanbul that the revelations are viewed as an important step.
Video

Video Migrants Trek Through Western Balkans to Reach EU

Migrants from Africa and other places are finding different routes into the European Union in search of a better life. The Associated Press followed one clandestine group to document their trek through the western Balkans to Hungary. Zlatica Hoke reports that the migrants started using that route about four years ago. Since then, it has become the second-most popular path into Western Europe, after the option of sailing from North Africa to Italy.
Video

Video TIME Magazine Honors Activists, Pioneers Seen as Influential

TIME Magazine has released its list of celebrities, leaders and activists, whom it deems the world’s “most influential” in 2015. VOA's Ramon Taylor reports from New York.
Video

Video US Businesses See Cuba as New Frontier

The Obama administration's opening toward Cuba is giving U.S. companies hope they'll be able to do business in Cuba despite the continuation of the U.S. economic embargo against the communist nation. Some American companies have been able to export some products to Cuba, but the recent lifting of Cuba's terrorism designation could relax other restrictions. As VOA's Daniela Schrier reports, corporate heavy hitters are lining up to head across the Florida Straits - though experts urge caution.
Video

Video Kenya Launches Police Recruitment Drive After Terror Attacks

Kenya launched a major police recruitment drive this week as part of a large-scale effort to boost security following a recent spate of terror attacks. VOA’s Gabe Joselow reports that allegations of corruption in the process are raising old concerns about the integrity of Kenya’s security forces.
Video

Video Japan, China in Race for Asia High-Speed Rail Projects

A lucrative competition is underway in Asia for billions of dollars in high-speed rail projects. Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia Thailand and Vietnam are among the countries planning to move onto the fast track. They are negotiating with Japan and the upstart Chinese who are locked in a duel to revolutionize transportation across Asia. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok has details.
Video

Video Scientists: Mosquitoes Attracted By Our Genes

Some people always seem to get bitten by mosquitoes more than others. Now, scientists have proved that is really the case - and they say it’s all because of genes. It’s hoped the research might lead to new preventative treatments for diseases like malaria, as Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Bible Museum Coming to Washington DC

Washington is the center of American political power and also home to some of the nation’s most visited museums. A new one that will showcase the Bible has skeptics questioning the motives of its conservative Christian funders. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Armenia and Politics of Word 'Genocide'

A century ago this April, hundreds of thousands of Armenians of the Turkish Ottoman empire were deported and massacred, and their culture erased from their traditional lands. While broadly accepted by the U.N. and at least 20 countries as “genocide”, the United States and Turkey have resisted using that word to describe the atrocities that stretched from 1915 to 1923. But Armenians have never forgotten.
Video

Video Afghan First Lady Pledges No Roll Back on Women's Rights

Afghan First Lady Rula Ghani, named one of Time's 100 Most Influential, says women should take part in talks with Taliban. VOA's Rokhsar Azamee has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Keeping Washington Airspace Safe Is Tall Order

Being the home of all three branches of the U.S. federal government makes Washington, D.C. the prime target for those who want to make their messages and ideas heard. Unfortunately, many of them choose to deliver them in unorthodox ways, including from the air, as a recent incident clearly showed involving a gyrocopter landing on the Capitol’s West Lawn. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video New Brain Mapping Techniques Could Ease Chronic Pain

From Boulder, Colorado, Shelley Schlender reports that new methods for mapping pain in the brain are providing validation for chronic pain and might someday guide better treatment.
Video

Video Hope, Prayer Enter Fight Against S. Africa Xenophobia

South Africa has been swept by disturbing attacks on foreign nationals. Some blame the attacks on a legacy of colonialism, while others say the economy is to blame. Whatever the cause, ordinary South Africans - and South African residents from around the world - say they're praying for the siege of violence to end. Anita Powell reports from Johannesburg.

VOA Blogs