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

UN Report Exposes Widespread Boko Haram Atrocities

Damning report graphically details pattern of vicious, widespread atrocities committed by Islamist militants More

Russia’s Prosecutor General to Review Legality of Baltics Independence

Move, announced Tuesday, has alarmed Baltic States and strained even further their increasingly tense ties with Moscow More

US Urged to Keep Up Pressure on Cuba Rights

Communist government continues to hold dozens of political prisoners, tightly restricts freedom of expression, uses threats, intimidation to discourage critics, according to activist groups 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.
Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Interneti
X
Mike O'Sullivan
June 30, 2015 8:20 PM
Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Syrians Flee IS Advance in Hasaka

The Syrian government said Monday it has taken back one of several districts in Hasaka overrun by Islamic State militants. But continued fighting elsewhere in the northern city has forced thousands of civilians from their homes. In this report narrated by Bill Rodgers, VOA Kurdish Service reporter Zana Omer describes the scene in Amouda, where some of the displaced are taking refuge.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video S. Korea Christians Protest Gay Rights Festival

The U.S. Supreme Court decision mandating marriage equality nationwide has energized gay rights supporters around the world. Gay rights remain a highly contentious issue in a key U.S. ally, South Korea, where police did a deft job Sunday of preventing potential clashes between Christian protesters and gay activists. Kurt Achin reports from Seoul.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Nubians in Kenya Face Land Challenges

East Africa's ethnic Nubians have a rich cultural history that dates back thousands of years, but in Kenya they are facing hardships, including the loss of lands they have lived on for generations. They say the government has reneged on its pledge to award them title deeds for the plots. VOA's Lenny Ruvaga reports.
Video

Video Military Experts Question New Russian Tank Capabilities

Russia has been showing off its new tank design – the Armata T-14. Designers claim it is 20 years ahead of current Western designs - and driving it feels like playing a computer game. But military analysts question those assertions, and warn the cost could be too heavy a burden for Russia’s struggling economy. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.
Video

Video In Syrian Crisis, Social Media Offer Small Comforts

Za’atari, a makeshift city in Jordan, may be the only Syrian refugee camp to tweet its activities, in an effort to keep donors motivated as the war in Syria intensifies and the humanitarian crisis deepens. Inside the camp, families say mobile phone applications help hold together families that are physically torn apart. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.

VOA Blogs