WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama went to Arlington National Cemetery to visit the graves of service members killed in Afghanistan and Iraq.
The visit to the burial ground across the Potomac River from the White House is part of the president's observance of the 11th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
The Obamas quietly walked between rows of graves at Section 60, which contains the remains of the most recent war dead. Pausing at several graves, Obama placed presidential "challenge" coins at the base of the headstones. The first headstone listed the names of 10 victims of an Oct. 26, 2009, helicopter crash in Afghanistan.
Earlier, the Obamas placed a wreath at the Pentagon and observed a moment of silence on the White House South Lawn.
Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin also released a statement about the 9/11 anniversary:
“Eleven years ago today, our nation mourned as thousands of lives were lost in the 9/11 attacks,” Fallin said. “Today, let us pause to remember the innocent victims who were killed in the attacks, as well as their family and friends. Let us also honor the thousands of firefighters, police officers and first responders, as well as those aboard Flight 93, whose heroic actions saved countless lives.
“While our nation has not experienced an attack on our soil since that day, we must remain vigilant against those who would support tyranny over liberty and seek to do us harm. We appreciate the men and women of our Armed Forces for their service and sacrifice in the effort to keep us safe from our enemies.”
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