(Sun-Times photos by John H. White)
President-elect Barack Obama visited the Bronze Soldiers Memorial at Soldier Field this morning with Tammy Duckworth at his side.
Duckworth, director of the Department of Veterans Affairs for Illinois, lost both of her legs and partial use of one arm in the Iraq War.
According to pool reports, Obama, wearing a dark overcoat, picked up a wreath and placed it in front of the memorial and carried it a few feet forward, then set it directly in front of the bronze memorial. He then bowed his head for a moment, and saluted before walking away with Duckworth.
"As we mark Veterans Day, all Americans are united in honoring the extraordinary service and selfless sacrifice of our nation's veterans. Our veterans are part of an unbroken line of heroes who have defended the American people and stood up for American values - from the beaches of Normandy to the battles in East Asia; from the deserts of Kuwait to the skies above Kosovo; from the cities of Iraq to the mountains of Afghanistan. Since 9/11, a new generation of American heroes has borne a heavy load in facing down the threats of the 21st century, and their families have been asked to bear the painful absence of a loved one. These Americans are the best and bravest among us, and they are all in our thoughts and prayers.
"On this Veterans Day, let us rededicate ourselves to keep a sacred trust with all who have worn the uniform of the United States of America: that America will serve you as well as you have served your country. As your next Commander-in-Chief, I promise to work every single day to keep that sacred trust with all who have served. May God bless our veterans, and may God bless the United States of America," said President-elect Barack Obama."