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Veterans Day Ceremonies Honor U.S. Military Service Members

It's a day in which the nation reflects "on the immeasurable burdens borne by so few in the name of so many."

Posted on November 11, 2015, at 4:16 p.m. ET

Members of the Armed Forces hold a U.S. flag during the Veterans Day parade in New York.
Shannon Stapleton / Reuters

Members of the Armed Forces hold a U.S. flag during the Veterans Day parade in New York.

Communities across the U.S. on Wednesday gathered to honor members of the Armed Services and the armistice that, 97 years ago, ended World War I.

Marines look at a trained bald eagle named Challenger before the annual Veteran's Day parade in New York.
Seth Wenig / AP

Marines look at a trained bald eagle named Challenger before the annual Veteran's Day parade in New York.

In his proclamation, President Obama said the U.S. military — comprised of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard — is the "strongest, most capable fighting force the world has ever known."

"On Veterans Day, we reflect on the immeasurable burdens borne by so few in the name of so many, and we rededicate ourselves to supporting those who have worn America's uniform and the families who stand alongside them."

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Seth Wenig / AP

As has become tradition, cities hosted large ceremonies and parades Wednesday in honor of the nation's veterans. New York City hosted its 96th annual parade, the largest in the nation.

Seth Wenig / AP

For those who have lost loved ones, either to time or combat, Wednesday was also a day of solemn remembrance. Cemeteries across the U.S. hosted quiet scenes of family members leaving flowers at headstones.

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Andrew Harnik / AP

At left, Marine Staff Sgt. Michael Reynolds of Houston, Texas visits the grave of Army Cpl. William Amundson Jr. at Arlington National Cemetery. At right, Kelly Poole touches the tombstone of her father and Korean War veteran Navy Seaman Michael Dario Vignali Georgia National Cemetery.

In his remarks at Arlington National Cemetery, Obama said that while the U.S. had boosted funding for veteran health care and made progress in other areas, there was more work to be done.

"The unacceptable problems that we've seen, like long wait times and some veterans not getting the timely care that they need, is a challenge for all of us if we are to match our words with deeds," Obama said.

Lilian Wilson adjusts a tie for her husband of 70 years, Dr. Herbert Wilson, at a Veterans Day ceremony at the North Dakota Heritage Center in Bismarck. Herbert Wilson, 94, served in the United States Army Air Corps during World War II as a gunner and bombardier on B-24 Liberators.
James Macpherson / AP

Lilian Wilson adjusts a tie for her husband of 70 years, Dr. Herbert Wilson, at a Veterans Day ceremony at the North Dakota Heritage Center in Bismarck. Herbert Wilson, 94, served in the United States Army Air Corps during World War II as a gunner and bombardier on B-24 Liberators.

Other nations also held ceremonies on Wednesday to commemorate the armistice that ended World War I in 1918. Also known as "The Great War," it officially ended when the Treaty of Versailles was signed on June 28, 1919, in France.

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Bagpipers with the Scots regiment perform as they march during an Armistice Day ceremony in Ypres, Belgium.
Geert Vanden Wijngaert / AP

Bagpipers with the Scots regiment perform as they march during an Armistice Day ceremony in Ypres, Belgium.

The U.S. previously observed what's known in Europe as Armistice Day, but renamed it Veterans Day in 1954.

Alik Keplicz / AP

Left, Polish Army veterans salute in Warsaw. Center, A two-minute silence to mark Armistice Day, in Trafalgar Square, London. Right, French President Francois Hollande reviews Republican Guards at the Arc de Triomphe.


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