By Justin Sink - 11/11/13 12:58 PM EST
President Obama said Veteran's Day was a time to "honor a debt we can never repay" and pledged to fulfill "our promises to our veterans … now, tomorrow, and forever."
Obama said the nation's work to help veterans was "more urgent than ever" as the conflict in Afghanistan wound to a close.
"By this time next year, the transition to Afghan-led security will be nearly complete. The longest war in American history will end," Obama said.
"As is true after every conflict, there is a risk that the devoted service of our veterans could fade from the forefront of our minds. We might turn to other things. But part of the reason we're here today is to pledge that we will never forget the profound sacrifices that are made in our name."
Before speaking, Obama laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Earlier Monday, he hosted veterans and their families at a breakfast at the White House.
In a nod toward the sequester cuts that have impacted across-the-board government spending, the president said that "even as we face difficult fiscal choices as a nation," the U.S. would continue to invest in its "sacred obligation" to veterans.