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Trump and Biden mark Veterans Day in solemn, but contrasting, wreath-laying ceremonies

Trump, in his first public appearance in days, disregarded Arlington National Cemetery's mask requirement during a wreath-laying ceremony.

President Donald Trump and President-elect Joe Biden both marked Veterans Day by paying tribute to the nation's fallen military heroes at somber wreath-laying ceremonies Wednesday.

Trump, making his first public appearance in days, participated in the laying of a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in a rainy Arlington National Cemetery. He made no remarks, but touched the wreath and saluted as taps was played.

Despite several aides and top officials recently testing positive for the coronavirus, which followed a crowded election night party at the White House last week, the president, Vice President Mike Pence, their spouses and Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert Wilkie did not wear masks at the ceremony, ignoring signs at the entrance that they were required.

The cemetery had also tweeted out a reminder about the rules for visitors Wednesday morning.

"All visitors are to follow social distancing requirements and wear face coverings while on cemetery grounds," the tweet said.

Biden, meanwhile, appeared to be wearing two masks as he laid a wreath at Philadelphia's Korean War Memorial. The president-elect was accompanied by his wife, Jill, who also wore a mask, but he did not speak at the brief ceremony.

Earlier Wednesday, Biden tweeted to veterans that he would be a president who “respects your sacrifice, understands your service, and will never betray the values you fought so bravely to defend."

President-elect Joe Biden appears to be wearing two masks and he stands with his wife, Dr. Jill Biden, at the Korean War Memorial in Philadelphia on Wednesday. Joe Raedle / Getty Images