November 11th, 2009
01:10 PM ET
13 years ago

'It's never too late to say thank you,' Obama tells veterans


On Veterans Day, the president laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns . (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

Washington (CNN) - President Obama paid tribute Wednesday to those who have lost their lives in the nation's wars as well as to the men and women who currently serve.

"There's no tribute, no commemoration, no praise that can truly match the magnitude of your service and your sacrifice," he said in a speech at Arlington National Cemetery on a rainy, overcast Veterans Day.

"We call this a holiday, but for many veterans, it's another day of memories that drive them to live their lives each day as best as they possibly can," he said.

"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. For our wounded warriors, it is another day of slow recovery. And in this national cemetery, it is another day when grief remains fresh."

He vowed that "America will do right" by its troops.

"To all who served in every battle in every war, we say that it's never too late to say thank you."

Earlier Wednesday, the president laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns. He then stood solemnly as a bugle played taps. Some onlookers watched from under umbrellas.

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Filed under: President Obama • Veterans
soundoff (5 Responses)
  1. victim of republican greed

    We finally have a Commander in Chief who takes his role seriously, and treats our troops with respect. We all owe the veterans for our freedom, and Obama gets it.

    November 11, 2009 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  2. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    I respect and admire our vets and those currently serving in our military. It takes a person with a special quality to go in and risk life and limb in the process of protecting that or those they are told to protect. Not everyone is up to that level of commitment.

    Thank you Vets! May God bless and always protect you.

    November 11, 2009 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  3. Peggi

    If it wasn't for the great sacrifices of the many men and women through the years, we would not have the freedoms we take for granted today. Today it does not matter if we are Democrat or Republican, or one of the many other parties, we are united under one memory-the memory of the fallen soldiers that have given their lives to protect ours. We should take time to thank them more than one day a year, but it is a start.

    God bless them and keep them.

    November 11, 2009 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  4. ben

    Two words: Thank you Mr. President!

    November 11, 2009 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  5. ThinkAgain

    Thank you, Mr. President, for your thoughtful and comforting words.

    Thank you to my late grandfather, a Navy pilot in World War I.

    Thank you to my late uncle (my mother's brother), who fought in the Pacific in World War II.

    Thank you to my late father-in-law, who fought in Italy in World War II.

    Thank you to my father, who served 30 years in the Army.

    Thank you to my uncle (my father's brother), who served 30 years in the Navy.

    Thank you to my brother, who served 20 years in the Navy.

    And thank you to my grandmother, who helped build ships in Bremerton, Washington, during World War II.

    To everyone who has served our nation in the military and as support personnel, and to all the families who have made sacrifices:

    Thank you!!

    November 11, 2009 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |