Amer­ica hon­ored its veter­ans Satur­day with pa­rades and cer­e­monies.

Veter­ans Day saluted in pa­rades, cer­e­monies

Las Vegas Review-Journal (Sunday) - - FRONT PAGE - By Andrew Sel­sky

Amer­i­cans hon­ored their mil­i­tary veter­ans Satur­day with a pa­rade in the win­try cold of New York City, where one World War II vet thanked on­look­ers for re­mem­ber­ing, and in a somber cer­e­mony in a Texas com­mu­nity blood­ied by a church mas­sacre where al­most half of those killed had ties to the U.S. Air Force.

Across the At­lantic, mil­lions of peo­ple in Bri­tain and France paused to re­mem­ber war vic­tims as they marked Armistice Day, which this year was the 99th an­niver­sary of the end of World War I.

In parks, war memo­ri­als, foot­ball fields and on streets across the United States, politi­cians and cit­i­zens gath­ered to thank those who have served in the na­tion’s armed forces.

In New York City, which hosts the largest Veter­ans Day pa­rade in the coun­try, as­tro­naut Buzz Aldrin served as grand mar­shal, join­ing Mayor Bill de Bla­sio and the Air Force’s high­est-rank­ing woman at Satur­day’s pa­rade.

“It’s beau­ti­ful, so many peo­ple,” said Aldrin, who rode in a con­vert­ible and waved to the crowds gath­ered on Man­hat­tan’s Fifth Av­enue. Aldrin, 87, served in the Air Force and was the sec­ond man on the moon, pi­lot­ing the Apollo 11 and fol­low­ing Neil Armstrong onto the lu­nar sur­face in 1969.

Air Force Gen. Ellen Paw­likowski also at­tended, along with hun­dreds of other veter­ans who marched in the cold. One of the World War II veter­ans who rode in a float held a sign that read “Thank you for re­mem­ber­ing.” Oth­ers held U.S. flags or black-and-white photos of their loved ones, and dressed in his­toric uni­forms.

De Bla­sio said the U.S. must pro­vide veter­ans bet­ter ac­cess to men­tal health and med­i­cal care, and more job op­por­tu­ni­ties.

Also in New York state, state and lo­cal of­fi­cials said a new mon­u­ment will honor African-Amer­i­can mil­i­tary veter­ans, and will be built in Buf­falo’s wa­ter­front, along­side other memo­ri­als. Plan­ners hope to ded­i­cate it on Veter­ans Day 2018.

Rhode Is­land used the special oc­ca­sion of Veter­ans Day to of­fi­cially open a new home for veter­ans.

The state is one of the first to use a com­mu­nity liv­ing con­cept for veter­ans’ long-term care, Kasim Yarn, Rhode Is­land’s first di­rec­tor of veter­ans af­fairs, said.

Gov. Gina Rai­mondo hosted a rib­bon-cut­ting cer­e­mony at the home, lo­cated in the town of Bris­tol on the same site of the pre­vi­ous home, which dated back to 1955, with ad­di­tions built in later years.

“I’m proud that Rhode Is­land is now lead­ing the way in rec­og­niz­ing the sac­ri­fice of those who’ve served our great na­tion. Our veter­ans de­serve noth­ing less,” Rai­mondo said.

The new 208-bed com­plex pro­vides nurs­ing and res­i­den­tial care for veter­ans. They be­gan mov­ing in last week into cot­tages, where each res­i­dent has a pri­vate bed­room and bath­room. There’s also a cen­tral lo­ca­tion for so­cial ac­tiv­i­ties and ser­vices.

Andres Kudacki The As­so­ci­ated Press

For­mer as­tro­naut Buzz Aldrin, cen­ter, salutes Satur­day dur­ing the an­nual Veter­ans Day pa­rade in New York. Aldrin served as grand mar­shal and joined Mayor Bill de Bla­sio and oth­ers at the pa­rade.

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