— CNN (@CNN) November 11, 2016
On Friday, President Obama headed to Arlington Cemetery for his final Veterans Day address. He first laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and then stepped up to the mic to pay his respects to those who defend our country. However, there’s obviously an overriding topic of conversation this week (Donald Trump’s election victory) that cannot be avoided. Obama already met with Trump at the White House to begin the transition, but he recognizes that healing a divided nation will take time. He feels that this day of observance can bring people together, and he praises servicemen and women as examples of how to connect as a nation:
“Whenever the world makes you cynical, whenever you seek true humility and selflessness, look to a veteran … When the election is over, as we search for ways to come together to reconnect with one another and the principles that are more enduring than transitory politics — some of our best examples are the men and women we salute on Veterans Day.”
Obama’s speech paid tribute to the men and women who have sacrificed so much. In doing so, urged the American people to find strength and take inspiration from the military that defends our nation on a continuing basis:
“Veterans Day often follows a hard-fought political campaign, an exercise in the free speech and self government that you fought for. It often lays bare disagreements across our nation. But the American instinct has never been to find isolation in opposite corners. It is to find strength in our common creed. To forge unity from our great diversity, to sustain that strength and unity even when it is hard.”
You can watch Obama’s full Veteran’s Day speech below.