News / USA

Obama Honors US War Dead on Memorial Day

President Obama in wreathlaying ceremony at Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery May 27, 2013
President Obama in wreathlaying ceremony at Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery May 27, 2013
VOA News
Americans are pausing Monday to honor the country's war dead, as the United States observes its annual Memorial Day.

U.S. President Barack Obama laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery, just outside Washington.  He recalled the service and character of several military personnel who were killed recently in overseas operations and have been buried at Arlington, the nation's most prominent military cemetery.

"Today, just steps from where these brave Americans lie in eternal peace, we declare as a proud and grateful nation, that their sacrifice will never be forgotten.  And just as we honor them, we hold their families close," Obama said.

Obama and his wife, Michelle, also hosted a breakfast at the White House for families of the fallen.

Communities across the country honored the war dead in a variety of ways.  In New York, Women Air Service Pilots who tested aircraft during World War II were commemorated.

Washington marked the holiday Sunday with thousands of motorcycle riders roaring into the national capital, a Rolling Thunder rally aimed at calling attention to prisoners of war and those missing in action.  

The first large-scale observance of what was originally called Decoration Day took place at Arlington cemetery in 1868, three years after the bloody U.S. Civil War that killed more than 600,000 people.

Many Americans have the day off from work and school, and the three-day weekend is seen as the unofficial start of the summer vacation season.  Many families have picnics or make trips to the beach, parks or campgrounds.
  • President Barack Obama speaks to a visitor at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia.
  • A couple photograph themselves amongst a sea of flags on Boston Common in Boston, May 26, 2013.
  • Motorcyclists ride across the Memorial Bridge into Washington during the annual Rolling Thunder "Ride for Freedom" parade ahead of Monday's Memorial Day celebration, May 26, 2013.
  • A veteran takes photographs at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, ahead of Memorial Day in Washington, May 26, 2013.
  • Jane Wick, left, and Mary Ann Chubirka wave flags while watching the College Point Memorial Day Parade in New York, May 26, 2013.
  • President Barack Obama talks with Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, center, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey, left, at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia, May 27, 2013.
  • Faith Roesch, 6, participates in the the College Point Memorial Day Parade in New York, May 26, 2013.
  • A veteran visits Arlington National Cemetery during the Memorial Day weekend, May 25, 2013. (D. Manis/VOA)

You May Like

EU Court Fines Poland for Hosting CIA 'Black Sites'

Ruling is first time a court has acknowledged suspects were held and tortured at the sites, under US program launched following the 9/11 terrorist attacks More

Migrant Issues Close to Home Spur Groups to Take Action

Groups placing water, food in the desert, or aiding detainees after release, have one common goal: no more deaths of migrants crossing illegally into the US More

Video At AIDS Conference, Prevention Pill Stirs Excitement

Truveda shows promise, spurring debate over access and other approaches More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debatei
X
Shelley Schlender
July 24, 2014 6:43 PM
In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Death Toll From Israel-Gaza Conflict Surpasses 700

Gaza officials say a shelling hit a compound housing a United Nations-run school in the Gaza Strip, killing more than a dozen people, during an Israeli offensive in the area. Heavy fighting between the Israeli military and Hamas militants continued on Thursday, pushing up the death toll. So far, more than 730 Palestinians and 35 Israelis have been killed in the conflict. VOA's Scott Bobb has the latest from Jerusalem.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnels

The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video Researchers Target Low-Cost Avatar Technology

Scientists at the University of Southern California Institute for Creative Technologies say 3-dimensional representations could revolutionize social media. Elizabeth Lee has more from Los Angeles.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.

AppleAndroid