Obama Honors Fallen At National Cemetery

After President Obama formally announced the new picks for his national security team Monday, he left the White House and crossed the Potomac River to Arlington National Cemetery. In the 90 degree heat, paid tribute to America's fallen and following Memorial Day tradition, he placed a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns. He said his role as commander in chief is his most "solemn responsibility."

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MELISSA BLOCK, host:

After President Obama formally announced the new picks for his national security team, he left the White House and crossed the Potomac River to Arlington National Cemetery.

(Soundbite of honor guard)

Unidentified Man: Present, halt.

BLOCK: There in the 90-degree heat, the president paid tribute to America's fallen. Following Memorial Day tradition, he placed a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns.

(Soundbite of gunshot)

BLOCK: There was a 21-gun salute.

(Soundbite of gunshot)

BLOCK: And music by the United States Marine Band.

(Soundbite of music)

BLOCK: President Obama called his role as commander-in-chief his most solemn responsibility. And he said that responsibility carries a special weight on this day.

(Soundbite of speech)

President BARACK OBAMA: We remember that the blessings we enjoy as Americans came at a dear cost. That our very presence here today as free people in a free society bears testimony to their enduring legacy. Our nation owes a debt to its fallen heroes that we can never fully repay.

BLOCK: Of those fallen heroes, the president said, they gave of themselves until they had nothing more to give.

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