Obama Pays Tribute to Vets at Arlington Cemetery

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As the rain fell at Arlington National Cemetery, Wednesday, President Barack Obama followed in the footsteps of presidents past by honoring fallen U.S. heroes.

Veterans Day carries a special significance this year. The tragedy at Fort Hood and two ongoing wars are a reminder of the sacrifice paid every day by men and women in the armed forces.
 
In his first Veterans Day in office, President Obama laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns, which holds remains of soldiers who gave their lives in both world wars, Korea, and Vietnam.

He held his hand over his heart as tributes to the fallen were played; no doubt, pondering the sacrifice already made, and that which is imminent.

Click here to see President Obama's full tribute speech at Arlington National Cemetery.

"We call this a holiday," Obama said. "But for many veterans, it's another day of memories that drive them to live their lives each day as best they possibly can. For our troops, it is another day in harm's way. For their families, it is another day to feel the absence of a loved one, and the concern for their safety."

Meanwhile, in Afghanistan - coalition troops pause to commemorate service members there and around the world.

"Veteran's Day is very important, it goes back to generations," said U.S. soldier Dan Snowden. "My father was a veteran from the Korean war and it really represents the future and the past and present, it represents everybody in the military."

U.S. soldier Amber Hendeson she she appreciated the support.

"I miss my family a lot and to be over here doing what I do on Veterans Day, it's a day that supports what I do and that's just awesome," she said.

All of this, just one day after President Obama spoke at a memorial for soldiers killed in last week's massacre at Fort Hood, Texas.

"The generation serving today already deserves a place alongside previous generations for the courage they have shown and the sacrifices that they have made," Obama said.

"For the better part of a decade, they have endured tour after tour in distant and difficult places, they have protected us from danger, and they have given others the opportunity for a better life," he added.

Back at Fort Hood this Veterans Day - the post vows to move ahead, welcoming nearly 300 soldiers back from Iraq.

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Paul  Strand

Paul Strand

CBN News Washington Sr. Correspondent

As senior correspondent in CBN's Washington, D.C., bureau, Paul Strand has covered a variety of political and social issues, with an emphasis on defense, justice, and Congress.  Follow Paul on Twitter @PaulStrandCBN and "like" him at Facebook.com/PaulStrandCBN.