Nightly News   |  May 27, 2013

Obama urges nation to remember we are still at war

President Obama honors the nation’s fallen heroes in a Memorial Day ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery where he urged Americans not to forget that the we are still at war. NBC’s John Yang reports.

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>>> good evening. i'm natalie morales in for brian on this memorial day . while many think of it as the unofficial start of summer, this holiday is about remembering our military service members, those who have fallen and those who continue to fight to defend our freedoms. the president urged all americans not to forget our nation is still at war as he laid a wreath at the tomb of the unknowns at arlington national cemetery . while troop withdrawal is under way in afghanistan after nearly 12 years at war, 60,000 service members remain there still, risking their lives. nbc's john yang begins our coverage tonight.

>> present!

>> reporter: at arlington national cemetery , president obama laid a wreath at the tomb of the unknowns . with first lady michelle obama the president paused at section 60, the final resting place of fallen soldiers from afghanistan, conflicts which may seem distance.

>> not all americans may fully see or grasp the depths of sacrifice, the profound costs that are made in our name.

>> reporter: at the world war ii memorial in washington, names of the fallen were very personal to this veteran of d-day.

>> i am so proud to have served with them.

>> readready, aim, fire.

>> reporter: outside atlanta, honors for the groundbreaking tuskeegee airmen.

>> we express our gratitude for fallen heroes and for those who continue in uniform.

>> reporter: in new york, there were ceremonies on the u.s.s. intrei intrepid tower and at the 9/11 memorial site. for many americans it was a day of flyovers, marching bands, scouts, and dogs decked out in red, white, and blue. here outside chicago, this unofficial first day of summer is overcast and a little soggy, but it's not dampening the spirits as they mark the day with a parade.

>> anything less than torrential down we'll take it and we love it.

>> nice activity to show the kids the spirit of the country.

>> reporter: just one of the many ways americans paused today to celebrate and remember. john yang , nbc news, river forest , illinois.