U.S. President Joe Biden attends a wreath laying ceremony to mark Veterans Day and the centennial anniversary of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia, U.S., November 11, 2021. REUTERS/Leah Millis

U.S. President Joe Biden attends a wreath laying ceremony to mark Veterans Day and the centennial anniversary of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia, U.S., November 11, 2021. REUTERS/Leah Millis

ARLINGTON, Va. — President Joe Biden called military veterans “the very spine of America” as he marked Veterans Day on Thursday, vowing to make sure they get the benefits they have earned.

Biden and many members of his Cabinet crossed the Potomac River from Washington to attend the annual ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery, where ceremonial cannon blasts greeted the president’s arrival and sent plumes of smoke over the vast array of white gravestones.

After nodding his head in prayer at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Biden delivered remarks in the cemetery’s Memorial Amphitheater.

“Our veterans represent the best of America. You are the very spine of America, not just the backbone. You’re the spine of this country. And all of us – all of us – owe you,” he said.

Biden said that thousands of U.S. veterans of the Afghanistan and Iraq conflicts brought home “unseen psychological wounds of war” and that he would make sure they get the help they need.

“Our administration is going to meet the sacred obligation that we owe you,” Biden said. “We’re going to work with Congress, Republicans and Democrats together, to make sure our veterans receive the world-class benefits that they’ve earned.”

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