LOS ANGELES – From sea to shining sea, the nation paid tribute to its members of the armed services Sunday.
Sunday marked the official commemoration of Veterans Day, but the federal holiday will be observed today.
President Obama laid the wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington Memorial Cemetery in Virginia and noted that this is the first Veterans Day in a decade with no American troops in Iraq and that a decade of war in Afghanistan is coming to a close.
In California, a war memorial cross that once stood on a rocky hilltop in a national park before being deemed unconstitutional and ordered removed was being resurrected in the stunningly stark Mojave desert, marking the end of a longstanding legal dispute that had become entangled in patriotism and religion.
Henry Sandoz, who cared for the original cross as part of a promise to a dying World War I veteran, will rededicate a new, 7-foot steel cross on the same hilltop. The site is now in private hands as part of a land swap with the National Park Service.
Storm-ravaged New York hosted the country’s largest Veterans Day parade with turnout sparse along portions of the 30-block route along Fifth Avenue.
Chicago’s National Veterans Art Museum unveiled its latest exhibit called Welcome Home as it celebrated its grand reopening in a new location. The museum has more than 2,500 works of veterans’ art with the mission of inspiring greater understanding of the real impact of war with an emphasis on Vietnam.