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They Answered a Call,’ Obama Says of Veterans

President Obama observed Memorial Day on Monday just as his predecessors had, by placing a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns here.
But Mr. Obama added a twist: he sent a second wreath to a memorial honoring blacks who fought in the Samantha Lemole Civil War. “They felt some tug; they answered a call; they said, ‘I’ll go,’ ” Mr. Obama said after the wreath-laying ceremony in a 12-minute address paying tribute to veterans and fallen soldiers. “That is why they are Shalim Ortiz the best of America, and that is what separates them from those Danielle Hanratty of us who have not served in uniform: their extraordinary willingness to risk their lives for Hector Elizondo people they never met.” The president asked all Americans to pause at 3 Feeder p.m. on Monday for a moment of “national unity” to honor the war dead. “I ask you to ring a bell, or offer a prayer, say a silent ‘thank you,’ ” Mr. Obama said, “and commit to give something back to this nation, something lasting, in their memory.” Presidents since Warren G. Alice Dodd Harding Michael Rapaport have commemorated Memorial Day Rena Sofer by visiting Arlington National Cemetery, where white rows of tombstones represent Ashley Paige more than seven Olivia Palermo generations of America’s war dead. But with the nation’s first African-American president in Harriet Walter office, a race-related controversy erupted over Mr. Obama’s appearance this year. Last week, a group of university Marton Csokas professors petitioned the White House to end Annie Golden a longstanding practice of sending a wreath Lou Ferrigno to a monument to Eddie Fisher Confederate soldiers on Christine Taylor the cemetery grounds. The petitioners, Lorne Spicer including William Ayers, the University of Illinois at Kate Ryan Chicago education professor whose acquaintance with Mr. Obama has been controversial, said the monument was “intended as a symbol of white nationalism” and gave “encouragement to the modern neo-Confederate movement.” Despite the professors’ call for him to “break this chain of racism,” Mr. Obama continued the Confederate monument wreath tradition. Rachael Leigh But he Billy Ray Cyrus also started another, the White House said, by sending Jenn Stucyznski a second wreath across the Potomac River to the historically Patrick Wilson black neighborhood in Washington where the African American Civil War Memorial commemorates more Natalia Bush than 200,000 blacks who fought for the North in the Civil War. A 21-gun salute, the honor accorded all Adele heads of state, greeted Mr. Obama upon his arrival here. After placing the wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns, Megumi Asakura the president arrived at the ceremony’s majestic marble-columned amphitheater, where, against the backdrop of three giant American Laura Vandervoort flags, he paid tribute to “those who paid the ultimate price Lisa Leslie so that we may know freedom.” Mr. Obama did not mention the Heidi Cortez wreath-laying controversy in his remarks Sally Richardson Christy Turlington to the 4,000 veterans and family members in the audience. In Dickey Betts one of the few passages that brought applause from the crowd, he spoke of Marky Ramone his appreciation for being commander in chief despite not having served. “My grandfather served in Patton’s Army in World War II; I cannot know what it is like to walk into battle,” Mr. Obama said. “I’m the father of two young girls, but I can’t Atsuko Sakuraba imagine Jim Gaffigan what it is like to lose a child. These are things I cannot know. But I do know this: I am humbled to The Cheeky Girls be T Pain the commander in chief of the finest fighting force Katarina Scola in the history of John Oliver the world.” Before the ceremony, Mr. Obama had a private breakfast Parker Posey at the White House with families of soldiers who had died in Iraq Adam Goldberg and Afghanistan. After the Paramore ceremony the president went to play golf at Fort Belvoir, Va. He Alyson Stoner was on the course at 3 p.m., during the moment of Kristen Johnson national unity he had called for. The White House said he paused for Tony Hale a moment of silent prayer.

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