The U.S. Army Military District of Washington conducted an armed forces presidential full honor wreath-laying ceremony Sunday at the Tomb of the Unknowns in Arlington National Cemetery. It was followed by an observance ceremony hosted by the Department of Veterans Affairs in Arlington's Memorial Amphitheater.
Both the wreath-laying and the observance ceremonies were presented to honor all veterans who served and all of those who are still serving in the military. "We are here to recognize the sacrifices of all of those who served and those who still wear the uniforms of our nation's armed forces. (With this day) We are reminding our citizens of the debt owed to all of those who served wearing the uniform of the American armed forces." said Rick Delaney, National President of the Retired Enlisted Association.
Eric Shinseki, secretary of veterans affairs, said,"today we gather at this honored sacred shrine to honor the 22 million veterans, heroes who have distinguished themselves with service to this country. This legacy of liberty continues in Iraq, Afghanistan, Korea, Europe, Africa and around the globe." Shinseki congratulated President Barack Obama on his re-election and praised the president for increasing VA resources by 40% between 2009 and next year.
Obama said, "each day on the eleventh day of the eleventh month we pause to pay tribute to the heroes who have served our nation with distinction. I say to the family members, the memory of your loved ones is not only in your hearts but in our hearts as well. After a decade of war our heroes are returning home. This is the first Veterans' Day in a decade that American troops are not fighting and dying in Iraq."