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Americans Honor War Dead on Memorial Day


Americans are remembering those who died in military service to their country on Monday's Memorial Day holiday.

President Bush laid a wreath at Arlington National Cemetery. In a speech afterwards, he paid tribute to the patriots who have fought and died, saying a lasting tribute to them is a country where people can worship where they want and say what they think.

Memorial Day is a national holiday, and ceremonies and other special events are taking place across the United States.

Arlington National Cemetery lies across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C. It holds the remains of more than 300,000 Americans -- members of the military services from conflicts dating back to the American Civil War, nearly 150 years ago.

Two U.S. presidents, including John F. Kennedy, and many other prominent Americans are among those buried there. A relatively new section of the cemetery holds the graves of nearly 350 men and women killed in Iraq and Afghanistan -- nearly one in 10 of the American victims of those conflicts.

On Sunday, thousands of motorcycle riders from across the United States rallied in Washington for their annual tribute to military veterans.

The "Rolling Thunder" rally is intended to focus attention on continuing efforts to trace American soldiers missing in action from the Vietnam War and other conflicts and other veterans issues.

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