Vice President Honors Military Serviceman in Veterans Day Ceremony

Joe Biden honors U.S. war veterans at Arlington National Cemetery on 100th anniversary of the start of World War One.
31:17 | 11/11/14

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Transcript for Vice President Honors Military Serviceman in Veterans Day Ceremony
Don't want to dance have learned New York on this veterans day were we see the National Anthem being played. At Arlington national cemetery the tomb of the unknowns. Let's listen. Oh. Oh. The oh. And a. And and. And. And. It. But. Yeah. Yeah. I won't. They're talking. Didn't see. I. EC index. Mary. The it boosts T. And vice president Joseph Biden making his way along with the others inside the memorial amphitheater at Arlington national cemetery on this back today. Marking of course this very somber occasion with the annual conditioner of laying a wreath at tomb of the unknowns. And in just a few minutes vice president will be making remarks. Along with the leaders of the US military. Of course Vice President Biden standing in for President Obama who is overseas. Diplomatic trip. A want to bring in. ABC's who Martinez who's standing by pentagon. We'll continue to monitor this ceremony and go to the vice president's remarks when they be in. But Lou I want to begin with you very somber ceremony at the tomb of the unknowns rate now at dated to reflect on those that were lost than have. Given everything. To serve the country. We today his skater click on the Americans who have served in the military the veterans 23 million of them. Who have done military service here in the last fifty years or so. And it can't remember those generations that are passing the greatest generation that final war to and this year it again quite in commemoration speak because. It's a hundred years since the start of World War I. Ireland's big significance. And crew for these events because the reason we have veterans day is because of World War I. And veterans they used to be known as armistice day it was that day that the war and will war one came to an end. On the eleventh day the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. That's why we have veterans day and November 11. And it's it's sick it's a period of reflection now we've seen the crowds have gathered outside the Tarrant London. To see those fields of ceramic poppies for calling the 880000. Britain's British who died and during all or one. America join the fight and well Warren from World War I in 1918 and but still significant casualties under him now a 100000 Americans gave their lives. And the reason we have the tomb of the unknowns as to commemorate. The first unknown soldier who was the one who died. Four World War I so I extreme significance of having veterans day here in 2014100. Years since the start a World War I. And in fact has. Or watch the ceremony at Arlington national cemetery. We will go to London momentarily. To show some the ceremony was taking place earlier today and it's still going on right now. Lou you had mentioned there obviously you know one of the reasons the ceremony on veterans day is conducted at Arlington is because as you pointed out. The main tomb of the unknown soldier fought in World War I. That's correct the first the first tomb of the unknown ways was established after World War I there was a sentiment that there should be commemoration for. The those 100000 died that it should be is that in the collection of an unknown soldier to represent them. On this occurred in many countries after World War I there's acumen the end Nolan is aunt in France underneath the wreckage Arctic shelf. And so it's is something that gain significance after World War I and became. And was added on to you unfortunately wit that World War II with Korean War. And ultimately the Vietnam War though after some DNA identification that Vietnam War unknown was given there islanders game. But it's the extreme genetic inside a when you base that building that you see there the steps that they all went into you. That on the other side of that is the memorial amphitheater. When you go into that building. They are it's basically a little museum gives a history of the tomb of the unknown and it shows. The dedication ceremony here photographs showing a dedication ceremony for the tomb of the unknowns in the early twenties. And it's just amazing to watch those pictures huge crowds of people gathered along the memorial bridge. On the way into the cemetery. This was a significant deal and of course is a lot of reference. Reverence has provided they're today with the changing of the that too many unknowns are changing of the guard but it tuned sentinels. Some of the most delete this soldiers in the US army who compete Q. Be to serve. This 24 hour watch in front of the two million pounds. It is or it is a great honor to be assigned that duty and Lou we're talking allude about the historical significance in the timeline in fact the armistice is signing. It didn't happen until 1918. And it wasn't until 1938 in fact that armistice day was officially recognized as a holiday and then. In 1954. Under president Eisenhower. Officially changed to veterans day here in the United States to represent recognition of all veterans of all wars. In the United States and around the world and as we saw other Vice President Biden performing that duty of laying the wreath he is standing in for President Obama who is in China. President Obama be undertaking a big get trip up there to China it's a summit meeting of many of the world's leaders. Abundant by the APEC summit that Beijing is it being hosted in Beijing right now. I'm so he is undertaking the nation's business. That far off part of the world. And yet day here re are still mindful that this is Veteran's Day which is why you have prep Vice President Biden there. I'm presenting the reef not only him he saw in the background their use of VA secretary Bob McDonald. He's he a Defense Secretary check Cagle members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff there all their president. Four in the wreath laying and for the event that some other place. And weakens the secretary of veterans affairs is making their way out to the podium there on the left side of your screen. And as those speeches and that's part of the ceremony will get under way we'll take that live from full. Earlier we had heard the US army band pershing zone. Performing the National Anthem and the muffled taps as well. And I wanted to talk a little bit about. Some of the veterans affairs reforms it's happening right now Louis because certainly it's it's something that is discussed quite often Washington DC and as of major concern. Throughout the country. Veterans affairs went to the forefront of the national spotlight this year Dan. The controversy out there and yet he VA medical center in Phoenix. Where the issue of these secret waiting list first emerged. That triggered a whole series of investigations and by the summer we ended up with. The conclusion that this was a systemic problem that the Veterans Affairs Department had. Led to the resignation of action sick leave the former general who had to assume that position. During about administration and then when Bob McDonnell that can and a former CEO of Procter & Gamble of a veteran himself. He came in and he singling out a plan and I need a plan. The road to veterans day where he wanted to see what you can be changed what needed to be streamlined. And that was announced yesterday. He's announcing a whole series of changes summit involving disciplinary action against me in as many as forty individual has forty individuals that still have to be processed. Other. Another thousand working grille for disciplinary action. For there. For how that for their professionalism and in dealing with veterans and providing health care but he also laid out positive in terms of how they're gonna streamline the of the DA's website. Providing access or something called V choice. That emerged out of the controversies from earlier this year which means that if you live beyond forty miles from a VA medical center you'll now be given a card. That will enable you to go to your local hospital to private hospital public hospital. And receive the same care that you wouldn't yeah eight center for. Forced free. There there's also another thing that data undertaken when they they want you bring in as many as 20000. Additional medical care providers. This is all been laid out this is that being called the biggest reorganization. The VA which by the way is one of the largest departments. And the federal government is means 300 ballots and employees and when you have something that they of course are going to be news items of fall through the cracks and but unfortunately this year it is a big crack it has to be fixed. And in fact resigned today and expected to make some remarks he short time now from his secretary of veterans affair. A Robert McDonald. Movie stamped to the podium in just a short period of time. And also of course vice president Joseph Biden. Also some remarks being made today. The indication being given by the chaplain Michael McCoy the veterans affairs. Department. And the pledge of allegiance will be recited and led by Ronald hope he national commander for the Disabled American Veterans. Lou I wanted to ask you given the reform the changes that are underway. At the veterans administration. Have a lot to ask you then just a moment let's listen out of the ceremony taking. So our veterans service organizations. As we march on the colors the United States marine band played the national emblem Martin's. Please place your hand over your heart or render a hand salute. Then remain standing for the prayer for all veterans. Delivered by chaplain Michael McCoy acting director of the Department of Veterans Affairs chaplain service. Followed by the pledge of allegiance. Let us Parikh. All might say god. We invoke your presents. And we odds that your blessings make com or mosques. As we gather here and I wouldn't nations. Most Howell memorial gardens of hero holds. Tell arm. Our nation's veterans. We thank you for veterans that generations past and present. Who served both during times of war and peace. Many of paying a bearing the physical. And spiritual. Visible. And invisible. Wounds of war. We celebrate them for their faithful service. In defending and preserving or you don't. For all soul. We are great fall. For our national and state and federal run service organizations. Whom many are represented today in this a rousing parades. Of colors. We thank them for they are ongoing willingness. To support an applicant. For veterans every day in Seoul many. Valuable. Ways. We Aslan makes them. Never fail. To remember and support those who made the suffering sacrifice. Up all Ben beyond. To secure for our nation them the lessons of life. Liberty. And justice rule. Caught. Bless America. God be worked out when nations leaders. Bless the families and friends oppose who we honor today. And think view but giving us so much to celebrate. One this veterans. Day. A man. Mr. secretary thank you very much and. The short time you've been in your position. People are beginning to see significant changes. You believe. As I do that we only have one truly sacred obligation. As a nation we have a lot of obligations. For the young to be a. Old. To all before. But there's no off. And you carry that with you from your days at West Point to today. And we appreciate. All the distinguished guests here. Let me say particularly to the goal star ambulance. To say how much. I appreciate the opportunity. The privilege. Of being able to speak and it's one of the great privileges the president or vice president. Hats. To be able to literally. Speak on this sacred ground. It's a second occasion I've had in my. Tenure as vice president. It's a beautiful beautiful autumn day. The sun is shining the skies are clear. The temperatures perfect. Not daylight these court she. The bitter coal. And intense storms to confront it. Many view here today and our troops to every conflict. In every age. Today sunshine is nothing like the scorching and he. Our veterans endured while battling an across the sun baked coral islands in the Pacific. And in some cases. Going days. Without water. Not they like the hardships faced by a generation Americans who. Waded through the rice paddies in the Mekong Delta in Vietnam nothing compared to the 115 degree C. In Fallujah. As a young warrior climbed to an in camera to show me how did saved his life. Nothing. Compared to what our young men fought through. In 25 degree below zero temperatures in the North Korean mountains. Pinned down by hand the enemy fire. The frozen ground sixty years ago. Nothing. Compared to the snow and cold that hampered our forces in the art on as far as 66 years ago. One of mind. Trevor Lyons is from home. And deploy a play by book by John Steinbeck's. East indeed. Where. Cyrus trashed act describes whose son Adam. What it means to be a soldier. And here's what it said. Says to his son a soldier. Is the most holy. Of all humans. Because it is the most tested. The soldier. Was coldly learned to put himself on the way of losing his own life. Without going Matt. If you can bring yourself. To face not shadows but real debt. Described in recognizable. By boaters Saber our alliance. Then you need never be afraid again. You are. The veterans of America the most trusted among us. Now the most tested. Of all Americans. To a mind. Recently hosted Teemu warned of wars in her home several hundred. As they prepared to represent the United States of America. In a competition in London called you think this games. For wound to warrior. In the struck me. That there couldn't have been a more appropriate description. I'm the determination and commitment in the characters show by all of our veterans. Then these games you referred to a big discussions. The poet. William Ernest Henry wrote a phone call in victories. In the last. Stands home says in. It matters not how strait the gate. How charged the punishment. The scroll. I am the master of my fate. I'm the captain. Of my soul. On the master of my fate. I'm the captain. Of my soul. Every single generation of veterans throughout our history. As bad the Basques. That this country has had to offer. It's as children days it was 200 years ago. When a generation of warriors tell the ramparts of fort Rick and right. Against the full might of the British navy. In the battle a Baltimore. As the dogs earlier lied broke following up battle a young lawyer named Francis Scott Key. Looked toward the fort slide Paul asking a simple question. Does that star spangled banner yet wave. That question and it's implications. And its aspirations. Had record through every perilous fight. That is turn. Will return to American veterans. Did that star spangled banner. Wave in the hands of civil war Sargent William Carney. The first African American medal of honor recipient. As he took that banner from the fallen comrade. Who charged the ramparts. Before widener. Did that star spangled banner yet wave of our observation post. That medal of honor recipient. Sargent Ryan Pitts held against enemy rocket propelled grenades and machine gun fire and decode our valley in Afghanistan. Did that star spangled banner yet wave. Over six Marines. A top monster Boxee. And it would G Hmong. Did that star spangled banner. Yet wave over a rare. Could troops in trenches in France beaches of Normandy mountains of Korea jungles of Vietnam streets of Fallujah. The ballots Afghanistan. And does that star spangled banner yet wave over every forward position ship based woman and man deployed. In the service. Of our nation today. Does it wave on the front porches of families. Wading out those deployments. Silently praying for their warrior safe return. There's a way of over Walter Reed Fort Belvoir. The Center for the Intrepid. VA poly trauma center and so many. So many other places where American words continue their march to recovery. In wage and every police station fire house coal business and Little League field where American veterans served their community. While standing. Ready. In the guard and reserve. Waves in the hearts of every American long after. They're charming uniform is through. Ending the silent vigil. Above the roe wade had stones here. And over there. Ladies and gentlemen. Francis Scott keys questions persist to this day. Does that star spangled banner yet wave or the land of the free in the home with a very. Thanks to all of you veterans. To the onto broken line of warriors who have answered the call. He answers generation after generation continues to be yes. Now and forever. Because as every adversary. In every age who has ever come up against you has learned. American warriors never banned. Never break. And never. Ever ever yield. Why. Is that however foreign leader aren't counter. It's never. Never ever been a good debt to bet against the United States of America because we had you. God bless you all. And may god protect our troops. Vice President Biden. In the concluding remarks of today's veterans day ceremony. At Arlington national cemetery. And now the US marine band will play god bless America has the ceremony. Will conclude and of course you can keep opt. With all of the events on this veterans day right here by downloading ABC news happened star in this story for exclusive updates on the go. For now I'm down that there are New York.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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