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Obama honors veterans

President Obama paid tribute to America’s veterans by laying a wreath at Arlington National Cemetery.

OLIVIER DOULIERY/EPA

President Obama paid tribute to America’s veterans by laying a wreath at Arlington National Cemetery.

ARLINGTON, Va. (AP) — President Barack Obama is paying tribute to America’s veterans by laying a wreath at Arlington National Cemetery.

The president also hosted a Veterans Day breakfast Monday at the White House for those who have served in the military and their family members.

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At the Arlington ceremony, Obama on Monday paid tribute one of the nation’s oldest veterans, 107-year-old Richard Overton.

‘‘This is the life of one American veteran, living proud and strong in the land he helped keep free,’’ Obama said.

Overton was among those in the audience for the outdoor ceremony on a crisp, sun-splashed Veteran’s Day.

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Obama used his remarks Monday to remind the nation that thousands of service members are still at war in Afghanistan. The war is expected to formally conclude at the end of next year, though the US may keep a small footprint in the country.

As the Afghan war comes to a close, Obama said the nation has a responsibility to ensure that the returning troops are the ‘‘best cared-for and best respected veterans in the world.’’ The country’s obligations to those who served ‘‘endure long after the battle ends,’’ he said.

He said the courage, self-sacrifice and devotion of veterans represent the American character at its best and he encouraged everyone to honor every service member who has ever worn the country’s uniforms.

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