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Obama Honors Veterans in Weekly Address

President Barack Obama delivers the commencement address to graduates of Joplin High School in Joplin, Missouri, May 21, 2012.
U.S. President Barack Obama used his weekly address Saturday to pay tribute to the men and women of the armed services who have died in service to the country.

President Obama said Monday's Memorial Day holiday is a time for the country to honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice as well as reaffirm its commitment to care for those who came home.

He said the nation needs to serve veterans and their families by making sure they have access to health care, higher education and jobs. The president said he will spend Memorial Day with veterans and their families at Arlington National Cemetery and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

In the Republican weekly response, Congresswoman Lynn Jenkins said everything should be done to help veterans prosper in a strong economy. Congresswoman Jenkins went on to say President Obama's policies are to blame for the weak job market and higher gas and food prices.

She extended blame for the sluggish economy to Obama's fellow Democrats in the Senate, saying they are delaying action on legislation promoting job growth.

Memorial Day Fun Facts

  • Memorial Day is May 28, 2012
  • Holiday started as a response to the U.S. Civil war and was made a holiday in 1868.
  • It was first known as Decoration Day
  • Each year more than 260,000 flags are placed in Arlington National Cemetery ahead of the holiday.
  • Many Americans attend barbecues or go to the beach during the three day holiday weekend.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.