President Barack Obama commemorated Veterans Day Nov. 11 at Arlington National Cemetery, calling the holiday a reminder of the nation’s “sacred obligation” to those who have “fought for our freedom and stood sentry for our security” throughout America’s history.
The United States must never forget those who have stood apart, volunteering their service and putting their lives on the line “so the rest of us might live in a country and a world that is safer, freer and more just,” he said. “This is the gift they have given us,” the president said. “This is the debt we owe them.”
Speaking to hundreds of veterans from every U.S. campaign, including audience member 107-year-old World War II veteran Richard Overton, Obama said this commitment is particularly important as forces in Afghanistan return home from the nation’s longest war.
“On tour after tour after tour in Iraq and Afghanistan … the 9/11 generation has met every mission we have asked of them,” Obama said. “And today, we can say that because of their heroic service, the core of Al-Qaida is on the path to defeat, our nation is more secure and our homeland is safer.”
He emphasized the importance of ensuring the service and sacrifice that made this possible isn’t forgotten after the mission is complete.
The Air Force hosted the famed Doolittle Tokyo Raiders’ final toast to their fallen comrades during an invitation-only ceremony Nov. 9 at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force in Dayton.
Representatives of the U.S. Air Force and the local French community came together to honor the members of Lafayette Escadrille during a Veterans Day ceremony Monday in Marnes-la-Coquette. Lafayette Escadrille was a French Aviation Service squadron during World War I, comprised largely of volunteer American fighter pilots who were motivated to fight before the U.S. was officially at war.
Jonah Skrove, 17, visited his brother, Airman 1st Class Jared Skrove at Misawa Air Base Nov. 1. Jonah is battling a life-threatening bone cancer and was given the opportunity through the Make-A-Wish Foundation to see his brother, an electrical and environmental maintenance specialist with the 13th Aircraft Maintenance Unit.
U.S. Pacific Command is supporting U.S. government humanitarian relief operations in the Philippines in the wake of a deadly typhoon that has left thousands dead. The support will initially focus on surface maritime search and rescue, medium-heavy helicopter lift support, airborne maritime SAR, fixed-wing lift support and logistics enablers.