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Local tributes honor America's heroes

Posted May 31, 2010

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— People young and old and military and civilian gathered Monday to honor U.S. Armed Forces service members who have died in the line of duty.

Hundreds gathered outside the Airborne and Special Operations Museum in Fayetteville this Memorial Day to remember the hundreds of soldiers and airmen from Fort Bragg and Pope Air Force Base who have died in combat in the past decade.

In Raleigh, hundreds also gathered at the state Capitol to pay their respects.

Local observances mark Memorial Day Local observances mark Memorial Day

Other events were also planned around the state.

Earlier Monday, Vice President Joe Biden – joined by Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff – marked Memorial Day at Arlington National Cemetery, laying a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns.

Speaking beforehand, Biden said the United States has "a sacred obligation" to provide its servicemen and women - "these new warriors" - with everything they need to carry out their jobs.

Severe weather delayed a holiday observance at the Abraham Lincoln Cemetery in Elwood, Ill., near Chicago, where President Barack Obama was to speak.

U.S. forces serving in Afghanistan and Iraq also remembered friends and colleagues in solemn ceremonies.

At the sprawling Bagram Air Field, the largest U.S. military base in Afghanistan, about 400 soldiers in camouflage uniforms and brown combat boots stood at attention for a moment's silence as Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the commander of some 94,000 U.S. troops in the country, led the ceremony.

A bugler played taps and a color guard displayed the U.S. flag and the flags of units serving in eastern Afghanistan where the base is located, about 30 miles north of Kabul.

In Baghdad, hundreds of American troops gathered in one of ousted dictator Saddam Hussein's former palaces that is now part of the U.S. military's Camp Victory.

Troops placed a wreath at the foot of a towering American flag inside the palace, and a brass band played the American national anthem. Troops enjoyed cake after the ceremony.

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