Despite the onset of unscheduled rain, President Barack Obama recognized the fallen service members during a ceremony at Chicago’s Hines Fisher houses on Memorial Day.
“At its core, the nobility and majesty of Memorial Day can be found in the story of ordinary Americans who become extraordinary for the most simple of reasons: They loved their country so deeply, so profoundly, that they were willing to give their very lives to keep it safe and free,” Obama said.
The ceremony was originally planned to take place at the Lincoln National Cemetery, but the sudden downpour caused its relocation. After his speech, Obama donated $25,000 to the Fisher House Foundation, which will go toward the treatment of wounded soldiers.
In Washington, Vice President Joe Biden spent Memorial Day at the Arlington National Cemetery, where he laid the traditional wreath on the Tomb of the Unknowns.
“As a nation, we pause to remember them,” Biden said at the ceremony. “They gave their lives fulfilling their oath to this nation and to us.”