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Memorial Day

Obama lays wreath at Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery was visited by President Obama Monday morning, where he praised the sacrifices of American soldiers after hosting a breakfast honoring Gold Star Families in the State Dining Room, UPI reported

The president and the top members of his defense team paid tribute to the over 6,400 Americans who have died in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars as well as earlier conflicts, The Hill reported

“From the jungles of Vietnam to the mountains of Afghanistan, they stepped forward and answered the call,” Obama told hundreds gathered at Arlington Cemetery, after laying a wreath at the Tomb in the traditional ceremony, ABC News reported.

"They fought for a home they might never return to; they fought for buddies they’ll never forget. While their stories may be separated by hundreds of years and thousands of miles, they rest here, together. Side by side, row by row. Because each of them loved this country and everything it stands for more than life itself,” he said.

The Commander in chief's remarks focused on the wars started by former President George W. Bush that Obama wound down during his first term as President, Reuters reported

"After a decade under the dark cloud of war, we can see the light of a new day on the horizon," said Obama. "As commander in chief, I can tell you that sending our troops into harm's way is the most wrenching decision that I have to make. I can promise you I will never do so unless it is absolutely necessary and that when we do, we must give our troops a clear mission and the full support of a grateful nation."

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, Obama's rival for the White House, is scheduled to make remarks in San Diego with Arizona Senator and former presidential candidate John McCain, a decorated war veteran who lost to Obama in the 2008 elections, CBS News reported

CBS News pointed out that the 2012 elections mark the first race in modern presidential politics that neither of the two main candidates for president have served in the military.

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This article originally appeared on GlobalPost.

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Erin A. Kirk-Cuomo/Department of Defense

President Barack Obama lays a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier during Memorial Day services at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Va., on Monday. Obama urged all Americans to remember those who sacrificed for the country and help service members still feeling the effects of war.