By C. Todd Lopez
WASHINGTON (Nov. 11, 2020) -- At Arlington National Cemetery today, President Donald J. Trump, Vice President Mike Pence and Robert Wilkie, secretary of Veterans Affairs, participated in a Veterans Day wreath ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier to honor those who have served in the U.S. military.
Earlier, the president issued a proclamation on the White House website to commemorate the day.
"America's veterans have fought to defend our country, its values and its interests since the first days of our founding," the president said. "They have defeated tyrants, eliminated terrorists and secured freedom at home and abroad. Their courage and fortitude in the face of adversity serve as an example for all Americans."
Veterans Day was originally known as Armistice Day and was first observed on Nov. 11, 1919, exactly one year after the signing of the armistice that ended World War I. In 1954, the observance was renamed Veterans Day.
Veterans Day honors all those who have served. The Department of Veterans Affairs estimates there are nearly 20 million veterans living today in the United States. More than 15 million of them have served during an era of war, including World War II, Korea, Vietnam and the Gulf War.
"On Veterans Day, we pause to pay tribute to all who have proudly worn our Nation's uniform," Trump said. "These soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen selflessly placed lives, well‑being and security of others before their own. We enjoy the privileges of peace, prosperity and freedom because of our veterans, and we are forever indebted to them beyond measure."