President Obama Honors Veterans at Arlington National Cemetery

Today is Veterans Day, and President Obama, Vice President Biden, First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden travelled to Arlington National Cemetery to honor our nation’s fallen warriors, veterans and military families. Before President Obama gave remarks, they laid a wreath to “remember every service member who has ever worn our nation’s uniform.”

The President discussed our sacred duty to care for our men and women in uniform and their families, even after their military service has concluded.  

So long after the battles end, long after our heroes come home, we stay by their side.  That’s who we are.  And that’s who we’ll be for today’s returning service members and their families.  Because no one who fights for this country overseas should ever have to fight for a job, or a roof over their head, or the care that they have earned when they come home.   

We know the most urgent task many of you face is finding a new way to serve.  That’s why we’ve made it a priority to help you find jobs worthy of your incredible skills and talents.  That’s why, thanks to the hard work of Michelle and Jill Biden, some of our most patriotic businesses have hired or trained 125,000 veterans and military spouses.  It’s why we’re transforming, for the first time in decades, how the military transitions service members from the battlefield to the workplace.  And because you deserve to share in the opportunities you defend, we are making sure that the Post-9/11 GI Bill stays strong so you can earn a college education and pursue your dreams. 

He also relayed the story of Petty Officer Taylor Morris who served in the Explosive Ordnance Disposal Team in Afghanistan. Six months ago, Petty Officer Morris was on patrol and stepped on an IED. The explosion cost him both legs, his left arm and his right hand. He is one of only five Americans treated at Walter Reed to survive the amputation of all four limbs. Despite his staggering injuries, Petty Officer Morris has made a remarkable recovery and in July, he came to the White House where President Obama presented him with a Purple Heart.

His story of recovery has been an inspiration for Americans across the country. As President Obama said:  

In Taylor we see the best of America — a spirit that says, when we get knocked down, we rise again.  When times are tough, we come together.  When one of us falters, we lift them up.  In this country we take care of our own –- especially our veterans who have served so bravely and sacrificed so selflessly in our name.  And we carry on, knowing that our best days always lie ahead. 

President Obama and Petty Office Taylor Morris

Vice President Joe Biden watches as President Barack Obama is photographed with Petty Officer Taylor Morris in the Green Room of the White House, July 26, 2012. The President presented a Purple Heart to Morris, who was participating in a tour of the White House with other wounded warriors and their families. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Learn More:

  • Join First Lady Michelle Obama in sending a message of thanks to an American hero
  • Learn more about Joining Forces
  • See a photo gallery from Veterans Day 2011

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