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

Photogallery South Africa Bans Travelers From Ebola-stricken Countries

South Africans returning from affected West African countries will be thoroughly screened, required to fill out medical questionnaire, health minister says More

Multimedia UN Launches ‘Biggest Aid Operation in 30 Years’ in Iraq

Move aims to help thousands of Iraqi religious minorities who fled their homes as Kurdish, Iraqi government forces battle Sunni insurgents More

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

IT specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about disease 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.
Gaza Conflict, Hamas Popularity Challenge Abbasi
X
Scott Stearns
August 21, 2014 9:20 PM
The Palestinian unity government of Mahmoud Abbas has failed to convince Hamas to agree to Egyptian-negotiated terms with Israel on a Gaza cease-fire. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports on what the Gaza conflict means for President Abbas, with whom U.S. officials have worked for years on a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Video

Video Gaza Conflict, Hamas Popularity Challenge Abbas

The Palestinian unity government of Mahmoud Abbas has failed to convince Hamas to agree to Egyptian-negotiated terms with Israel on a Gaza cease-fire. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports on what the Gaza conflict means for President Abbas, with whom U.S. officials have worked for years on a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Video

Video Nigeria's 'Nollywood' Movie Industry Rolls in High Gear

Twenty years after its birth in a video shop in Lagos, Nigeria's "Nollywood" is one of the most prolific film industries on earth. Despite low budgets and whirlwind production schedules, Nigerian films are wildly popular in Africa and industry professionals say they hope, in the future, their films will be as great in quality as they are in quantity. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Lagos.
Video

Video UN Launches 'Biggest Aid Operation in 30 Years' in Iraq

The United Nations has launched what it describes as one of the biggest aid operations in 30 years in northern Iraq, as hundreds of thousands of refugees flee the extremist Sunni militant group calling itself the Islamic State. As Kurdish and Iraqi forces battle the Sunni insurgents, the fighting has forced more people to flee their homes. Kurdish authorities say the international community must act now to avert a humanitarian catastrophe. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Cambodian American Hip Hop Artist Sings of Personal Struggles

A growing underground movement of Cambodian American hip hop artists is rapping about the struggles of living in urban America. Most, if not all of them, are refugees or children of refugees who came to the United States from Cambodia to escape the Khmer Rouge genocide of the 1970s. Through their music, the artists hope to give voice to immigrants who have been struggling quietly for years. Elizabeth Lee reports from Long Beach, California.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ferguson Calls for Justice as Anger, Violence Grips Community

Violence, anger and frustration continue to grip the small St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Missouri. Protests broke out after a white police officer fatally shot an unarmed black teenager on August 9. The case has sparked outrage around the nation and prompted the White House to send U.S. Attorney Eric Holder to the small community of just over 20,000 people. VOA’s Mary Alice Salinas has more from Ferguson.
Video

Video Beheading Of US Journalist Breeds Outrage

U.S. and British authorities have launched an investigation into an Islamic State video showing the beheading of kidnapped American journalist James Foley by a militant with a British accent. The extremist group, which posted the video on the Internet Tuesday, said the murder was revenge for U.S. airstrikes on militant positions in Iraq - and has threatened to execute another American journalist it is holding. Henry Ridgwell has more from London.
Video

Video Family Robots - The Next Big Thing?

Robots that can help us with daily chores like cooking and cleaning are a long way off, but automatons that serve as family companions may be much closer. Researchers in the United States, France, Japan and other countries are racing to build robots that can entertain and perform some simpler tasks for us. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Video

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improving

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video China Targets Overseas Assets of Corrupt Officials

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting corrupt officials who have sent family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate at home on exactly how many officials take that route and how likely it is they will be caught. Rebecca Valli has this report.
Video

Video Leading The Fight Against Islamic State, Kurds Question Iraqi Future

Western countries including the United States have begun arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to aid their battle against extremist Sunni militants from the Islamic State. But there are concerns that a heavily-armed Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, might seek to declare independence and cause the break-up of the Iraqi state. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the KRG says it will only seek greater autonomy from Baghdad.
Video

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

In some Kenyan communities, female genital mutilation remains a rite of passage. But activists are pushing back, with education for girls and with threats of punishment those who perform the circumcision. Mohammed Yusuf looks at the practice in the rural eastern community of Tharaka-Nithi.

AppleAndroid