Veterans Day: Honoring Our Military (Photos)

Reniah Krause, 2, clings to her father Sgt. Joseph Krause after he and fellow soldiers arrived from Afghanistan to Fort Carson, Colorado. June 15, 2011. More than 500 soldiers from the 1st Brigade Combat Team returned home following a year of heavy fighting in Afghanistan.

Veterans’ Day, a US holiday set aside to honor American troops, seems particularly poignant this year, as a seven-year war in Iraq and a decade of fighting in Afghanistan wind down.

This year, there is also another milestone to note. This will be the first Veterans’ Day that gays and lesbians can serve openly in the military and be recognized for their service.

The US government chose Nov. 11 to commemorate the day Germany surrendered in World War I, once known as “The War to End All Wars.” Later, as America returned to war again and again, Nov. 11 became a day to honor all American troops, wherever they served.

These days, the US has a new generation of soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines fighting under the American flag.

The conflicts are in different parts of the world now, and the weapons and uniforms are more advanced.

The sacrifices these men and women make, however, remain as great as ever. 

Take a moment to remember them all.

Editor's Note: Images will be updated throughout the day as national ceremonies progress.