Parades, public tributes and private moments of reflection marked the Memorial Day holiday in the United States Monday as Americans remembered those who gave their lives in service to the country.
In Washington, thousands of aging veterans paid silent tribute to their fallen comrades at Arlington National Cemetery and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.
This year's tributes have added significance because they come just eight and a half months after the deadly terror attack of September 11.
In New York City, thousands gathered at a World War II Navy vessel that now serves as a sea, air and space museum. Parades honoring veterans also drew large crowds.
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg used a Memorial Day address to pay special tribute to the thousands of people who died in the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center. "We will not forget those that we lost, and we will not let their deaths be in vain," he said.
Vietnam veteran Karl Rohde, who traveled to New York for the event, said the holiday gives Americans a chance to honor those who gave their lives for their country. "It's a chance for us to remember our friends and comrades who were not fortunate enough to return like I was," he said.
Across the country, in a show of national unity, millions of Americans paused at mid-afternoon for a moment of silence to reflect on the sacrifices made by the men and women of the country's armed forces.