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Pelosi honors vets at the Presidio

November 11, 2009 7:08:35 PM PST
Today is the 91st observance of Veterans Day. In the Bay Area, the Presidio honored veterans and service members and unveiled a new overlook at the National Cemetery.

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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi led the dedication ceremony.

The ceremony was a tribute to veterans everywhere including 33,000 who gave their lives to the country and are buried at the National Cemetery in the Presidio. Speaker Pelosi paid tribute to both veterans from decades ago as well as a few days ago.

The men and women buried in the Presidio are from the Civil War, the Iraq War and all the wars in between. Speaker Pelosi asked those assembled to remember them all. She mentioned the soldiers killed in last week's headlines.

"In the shadow of this unspeakable tragedy we recall the deeper meaning of this day," she said. "We think of the heroes of Fort Hood, the civilians and the military police and service members who stepped into the line of fire and stopped the shooter, who cared for their comrades and treated the wounded."

There were lighter moments such as when one speaker quoted the words of President John Kennedy saying, "'There will always be inequity,' he said. 'Some men are killed in war. Some are wounded. Some are sent to the Antarctic. And, some are stationed in San Francisco.'"

Everywhere on the stones at the brand new cemetery overlook are the words from the poem "The Young Dead Soldiers" by Archibald Macleish, an officer himself in WWI.

Those words struck a chord on this Veterans Day.

"Whether our lives and our deaths were for peace and a new hope, or for nothing, we cannot say it is you who must say this," said Former U.S. Poet Laureate Robert Hass. "

"The numbers who died in WWII are staggering, Vietnam War, etc. But, everyone of those is not a statistic," said Speaker Pelosi. "They are a person. They are a family. They are a reason why we again, are the home of the brave and the land of the free."

ABC7's Mark Matthews got the chance to ask Speaker Pelosi some questions about the cost of war, more specifically, the cost of war in Afghanistan. Watch ABC7 News tonight for that complete report.

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