Wednesday, December 01, 2021

Obama says veterans an “example” for regaining national unity after elections

United States President Barack Obama lay a wreath during a ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery on Veteran's Day, in Arlington, Virginia, USA, 11 November 2016. EPA/Ron Sachs / POOL

United States President Barack Obama lay a wreath during a ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery on Veteran’s Day, in Arlington, Virginia, USA, 11 November 2016. EPA/Ron Sachs / POOL

Washington, Nov 11 (EFE).- U.S. President Barack Obama paid tribute Friday on Veterans Day to former combatants of the United States, whom he cited as an “example” for regaining the nation’s unity following the divisiveness of a bitter electoral campaign.

“When the election is over, as we search for ways to come together – to reconnect with one another and with the principles that are more enduring than transitory politics – some of our best examples are the men and women we salute on Veterans Day,” Obama said at Arlington National Cemetery.

In his speech, the last he will give in commemoration of this U.S. holiday before leaving the White House at the beginning of next year, the president said the military is an inspiration because it “meets every mission, one united team, all looking out for one another, all getting each other’s backs.”

United States President Barack Obama, left, and US Army Major General Bradley A. Becker, Commander, US Army Military District of Washington, left center, stand at attention during a wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery on Veteran's Day, in Arlington, Virginia, USA, 11 November 2016. EPA/Ron Sachs / POOL

United States President Barack Obama, left, and US Army Major General Bradley A. Becker, Commander, US Army Military District of Washington, left center, stand at attention during a wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery on Veteran’s Day, in Arlington, Virginia, USA, 11 November 2016. EPA/Ron Sachs / POOL

For Obama, “American instinct,” represented by war veterans, “is to find strength in our common creed, to forge unity from our great diversity, to sustain that strength and unity even when it is hard.”

The surprising electoral victory of Republican Donald Trump over Democrat Hillary Clinton in last Tuesday’s election wrapped up one of the most aggressive, polarizing electoral campaigns in the nation’s recent history.

According to last survey of the U.S. Census Bureau, taken between 2009-2013, in the United States there are 21.5 million veterans, including 1.2 million Hispanics.

In the United States, Veterans Day originated in 1919 as Armistice Day to mark the first anniversary of the end of World War I. But in 1954, President Dwight D. Eisenhower changed the name of the holiday to its present title in order to honor the U.S. troops who have fallen in all the country’s wars.