U.S. President Barack Obama marked Veterans Day on November 11 telling Americans that a painful decade of war in Iraq and Afghanistan is coming to a close.
Obama placed a wreath at Arlington National Cemetery in memory of those who died while serving in the military.
Obama noted his withdrawal of combat troops from Iraq and the gradual withdrawal under way from Afghanistan.
Obama said, "This is the first Veterans Day in a decade in which there are no American troops fighting and dying in Iraq."
The Afghan drawdown is expected to be completed in 2014.
Obama praised the generation of soldiers who came forward after the 9/11 attacks in 2001, saying they had "stepped into history" by toppling Iraq's Saddam Hussein, pushing back the Taliban in Afghanistan, and killing Osama bin Laden.
Based on reporting by AP and Reuters