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Obama pays tribute to nation’s veterans

President Obama paid tribute to America's veterans with a speech at Arlington National Cemetery on Sunday, calling on the nation to do more to honor those who served.

"Today a proud nation expresses our gratitude but we do so mindful that no ceremony or parade, no handshake or hug is enough to truly honor that service," Obama said to the crowd of military personnel. "For that we must do more, for that we must commit this day and every day to serving you as well as you've served us."

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The speech was part of a wreath-laying ceremony at the cemetery to commemorate Veterans Day. 

Obama noted that Sunday was the first Veterans Day in 10 years that American troops were not in Iraq.

"This is the first Veterans Day in a decade in which there are no American troops fighting and dying in Iraq," he said. "Thirty-three thousand of our troops have now returned from Afghanistan and the transition is now under way. After a decade of war our heroes are now coming home."

The president went on to say that as veterans returned home it was important for the U.S. to provide necessary help as "a million service members will transition back to civilian life." 



"They will be veterans," Obama said. "As they come home, it falls to us, their fellow citizens, to be there for them and their families. Not just now but always. Not just for the first few years but for as long as they walk this earth."

Veterans should not have to fight for a job or shelter when they return home, Obama continued.

"No veteran should have to wait months or years for the benefits you've earned, so we will continue to attack the claim's backlog. We won't let up," Obama said. "And as we mark the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War we have secured new disability benefits for Vietnam veterans exposed to Agent Orange. You needed it, we fought for it, and we got it done.

"That's what we do in America, we take care of our own. We take care of our veterans."