Around the nation, Americans pause on Veterans Day to honor those who fought in wars

  • Article by: ASSOCIATED PRESS , Associated Press
  • Updated: November 11, 2013 - 4:45 PM

Across the nation, Americans are commemorating Veterans Day with parades, wreath-laying ceremonies, monument dedications and other events.

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NEW HAMPSHIRE: GREEN PASTURES

Richard Velez is a veteran who makes it clear: He didn't serve in a war, but he welcomed home family and friends — brothers all — who had seen "the beast" that is combat.

At the New Hampshire State Veterans Cemetery in Boscawen, Velez joined hundreds of others on Veterans Day. Velez, a 51-year-old from Dover who served with the Army from 1980-86, rode to the peaceful patch of land along the Merrimack River with a Vietnam vets motorcycle club.

"This is a place of brokenness," he said. "Just being here, you find that peace that you're looking for, that you need. And you feel less broken."

Veterans — those who have seen combat and those who haven't — take special solace in the cemetery's green expanses, he said. They find their connection in the orderly rows of headstones that remember comrades from the Civil War to the present.

"It's the brotherhood," he said. "We never rest because of the beast we've seen. And once you've seen the beast, you can't unsee it."

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VIRGINIA: ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY

President Barack Obama paid tribute to those who have served in the nation's military, including 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 during a ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery.

Overton was among those in the audience for the outdoor ceremony on a crisp, sun-splashed Veteran's Day. Earlier in the day, Overton and other veterans attended a breakfast at the White House.

Obama used his remarks 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 U.S. may keep a small footprint in the country.

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NEVADA: LAMENTING BUDGET CUTS

The Las Vegas parade, billed as the largest Veterans Day parade west of the Mississippi, took Nellis Air Force Base as its theme after government cuts led to cancellation of an air show there.

Floats featured zooming planes and trails of exhaust, and contingents of Air Force personnel and trainees marched in powder blue uniforms at intervals during the procession.

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