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Nation Honors American Heroes on Veterans Day

Veterans are especially honored and remembered today for their service to the country, a tradition that began in commemoration of the formal end to World War I on Nov. 11, 1918.

. Jiffy Helton Sarver, of Monroe, Ga., places flowers at the grave of her son, 1st Lt. Joseph Helton, Jr., at Georgia National Cemetery on Nov. 11, 2015, in Canton. "This was his favorite time of day," said Sarver of her son who was killed in 2009 while serving in Iraq. "He loved sunrises."

Ninety-seven years ago, an armistice ended World War I, which was then the greatest conflict the world had ever seen. Armistice Day became Veterans Day in the 1950s and now honors all U.S. military members.

David Goldman / AP

. A veteran reaches out to touch a soldier's photograph while attending a Veterans Day ceremony at the National World War II Memorial in Washington on Nov. 11.

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. Veterans bow their heads in remembrance during a ceremony at the World War II Memorial in Washington on Nov. 11.

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. Laura Allison attends a Veteran's Day observance at Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery on Nov. 11 in San Antonio.

Eric Gay / AP

. U.S. national Mindy Warguez kisses her son Tyler along a wall listing soldiers missing in action during a ceremony at the Manila American Cemetery and Memorial in Manila, Philippines on Nov. 11.

U.S. Ambassador to the Philippines Philip Goldberg joined surviving war veterans in rites to honor American and Filipino troops killed in World War II at the cemetery, where more than 17,000 American military and 570 Filipino counterparts are buried.

Mark R. Cristino / EPA

. President Obama participates in a full honor wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia on Nov. 11.

During the ceremony, Obama said the nation is boosting funding for the Department of Veterans Affairs and making progress on long-standing issues of veteran homelessness and in reducing a backlog of disability claims.

"The unacceptable problems that we've seen, like long wait times and some veterans not getting the timely care that they need, is a challenge for all of us if we are to match our words with deeds," Obama said.

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. A veteran and a woman stand in front of a black granite wall at the Korean War Veterans Memorial in Washington on Nov. 11.

Carlos Barria / Reuters

. Vietnam veteran Mark Lyons and his friend Edgar Gonzalez, visits the grave of Lyons' grandfather Anthony Charbonneau, a member of the Navy during World War II, at the Los Angeles National Cemetery on Nov. 11.

Nick Ut / AP

. Veterans and community members gather at City Hall in Pittsfield, Mass., for a ceremony after rain cancelled the town's annual Veterans Day parade on Nov. 11.

Stephanie Zollshan / AP

. Veterans hold the president's 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War commemoration proclamation over the Vietnam Veterans Memorial wall in Washington on Nov. 11.

Carlos Barria / Reuters

. A young girl dressed in an Uncle Sam outfit attends a ceremony at the National World War II Memorial on Nov. 11 in Washington.

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. Navy members march with the American Flag during the 96th annual Veterans Day parade in New York on Nov. 11.

"America's Parade" is the largest celebration of service in the nation.

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. Army Lt. Col. Luta C. McGrath, 107, is greeted as she is recognized by President Obama during a ceremony at the Memorial Amphitheater of Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia on Nov. 11. McGrath is the oldest known female World War II veteran.

Susan Walsh / AP

. Veterans talk while visiting the Vietnam Memorial Wall on Nov. 11 in Washington.

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. Vietnam veteran Jose Angle Rivera pays his respects at the Korean War Memorial on Nov. 11 in Philadelphia.

Matt Rourke / AP

. Gavin Kinney, 9, holds up a sign thanking veterans during the Veterans Day parade in New York on Nov. 11.

The parade featured more than 20,000 participants, including marching bands, floats, veterans and military units.

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. Veterans attend a ceremony at the National World War II Memorial on Nov. 11 in Washington.

Win Mcnamee / Getty Images

. U.S. Marine Corps Gunnery Sgt. Gunny Mix, of Aurora, Colo., listens during a ceremony to mark the 25th anniversary of the state's Veterans Monument near the State Capitol on Nov. 10 in Denver.

David Zalubowski / AP

. Army veteran Howard Morang, 74, of South China, Maine, attends a ceremony at the Maine Veterans' Home on Nov. 11 in Augusta. The former post commander was stationed in Germany in the early 1960s.

Robert F. Bukaty / AP

. Morning dew outlines footsteps from a mother visiting her son's grave on Nov. 11 in Canton, Ga.

David Goldman / AP