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November 11, 2013

Veterans Day: Events and ceremonies around nation

Across the nation, Americans are commemorating Veterans Day with parades, wreath-laying ceremonies, monument dedications and other events.

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NEW YORK: WOMEN IN SERVICE

The U.S. military’s first female four-star general is a grand marshal at New York City’s Veterans Day Parade. Gen. Ann E. Dunwoody retired last year after a 37-year Army career.

World Trade Center families in the parade carried a giant American flag along Fifth Avenue. Some shouted, “Don’t forget 9/11!”

Organizers of Monday’s parade up Fifth Avenue have renamed it America’s Parade. They say it’s the largest Veterans Day event in the nation.

Former U.S. Secretary of Veterans Affairs Anthony Principi also is a grand marshal. Principi is a Navy veteran and vice president of the Wounded Warrior Project. Gen. Ray Odierno, the Army’s chief of staff, is an honorary grand marshal.

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WASHINGTON, D.C.: TUSKEGEE AIRMEN

The District of Columbia will honor two of the original Tuskegee Airmen with the Congressional Gold Medal for Veterans Day.

Washington Mayor Vincent Gray and congressional delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton will lay a wreath at the African American Civil War Memorial. A commemoration will follow for two Tuskegee Airmen who are D.C. residents at the African American Civil War Museum.

The Tuskegee Airmen were a group of African-American pilots in World War II.

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VIRGINIA: ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY

President Barack Obama paid tribute to those who have served in the nation’s military, including one of the nation’s oldest veterans, 107-year-old Richard Overton.

“This is the life of one American veteran, living proud and strong in the land he helped keep free,” Obama said during a ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery.

Overton was among those in the audience for the outdoor ceremony on a crisp, sun-splashed Veteran’s Day. Earlier in the day, Overton and other veterans attended a breakfast at the White House.

Obama used his remarks to remind the nation that thousands of service members are still at war in Afghanistan. The war is expected to formally conclude at the end of next year, though the U.S. may keep a small footprint in the country.

As the Afghan war comes to a close, Obama said the nation has a responsibility to ensure that the returning troops are the “best cared-for and best respected veterans in the world.” The country’s obligations to those who served “endure long after the battle ends,” he said.

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OKLAHOMA: PRISONER OF WAR

A retired soldier who spent more than five years as a prisoner of war is dedicating a wall commemorating Vietnam veterans.

Col. Lee Ellis is speaking Monday at the dedication of the Vietnam Memorial Wall at Enid’s Woodring Regional Airport. Ellis was a former Vietnam prisoner of war with Arizona Sen. John McCain.

The wall is a smaller replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington.

The dedication ceremony will include a 21-gun salute by the Silver Talon Honor Guard from Vance Air Force Base and a flyover of Vietnam-era aircraft.

 

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