LOS ANGELES (AP) - From sea to shining sea, the nation paid tribute to its members of the armed services Sunday, both with somber traditions such as a Virginia wreath-laying ceremony attended by President Barack Obama to honor those who didn't make it back from active duty, and more lighthearted perks including red-carpet treatment at Las Vegas casinos for those who did.
In California, a long legal case drew to a close as a war memorial cross that had been deemed unconstitutional was being resurrected Sunday in the Mojave desert, capping a landmark case for veterans fighting similar battles on public lands.
Sunday marked the official commemoration of Veterans Day, but the federal holiday will be observed Monday.
President Barack Obama laid the wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia and noted that this is the first Veterans Day in a decade with no American troops fighting and dying in Iraq, and that a decade of war in Afghanistan is coming to a close.
United States Army Sgt. Zach Ames, center, who has been on a one-year deployment to Afghanistan, surprises his wife, Bri Ames, left, and their daughter Emersyn, right, with a reunion prior to an NFL football game between the New York Jets and the Seattle Seahawks on Veterans Day, Sunday, Nov. 11, 2012, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)