Accompanied by disabled Iraq war veteran and losing 2006 congressional candidate Tammy Duckworth, President-elect Barack Obama went to The John F. Kennedy War Memorial at Chicago’s Soldier Field this morning for a wreath-laying ceremony.
Clad in a dark overcoat, the soon-to-be 44th president of the United States placed a wreath in front of the bronze memorial, bowed his head for a moment, then saluted and walked away.
Inscribed on the back of the memorial is President John F. Kennedy’s famous quote: "Let every nation know whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, to assure the survival and the success of liberty."
President-elect Obama issued the following statement:
"As we mark Veterans Day, all Americans are united in honoring the extraordinary service and selfless sacrifice of our nation’s veterans. Our veterans are part of an unbroken line of heroes who have defended the American people and stood up for American values – from the beaches of Normandy to the battles in East Asia; from the deserts of Kuwait to the skies above Kosovo; from the cities of Iraq to the mountains of Afghanistan. Since 9/11, a new generation of American heroes has borne a heavy load in facing down the threats of the 21st century, and their families have been asked to bear the painful absence of a loved one. These Americans are the best and bravest among us, and they are all in our thoughts and prayers.
"On this Veterans Day, let us rededicate ourselves to keep a sacred trust with all who have worn the uniform of the United States of America: that America will serve you as well as you have served your country. As your next Commander-in-Chief, I promise to work every single day to keep that sacred trust with all who have served. May God bless our veterans, and may God bless the United States of America."
Duckworth, director of the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs office, has been mentioned as a possible candidate for Obama’s Senate seat, as well as a possible Veterans’ Affairs Secretary.