President Barack Obama Tuesday hailed the "9/11 generation" of US veterans and 6,200 service members who perished in the "hard decade of war" spawned by the September 11 attacks.
Obama, speaking to the 93rd annual convention of the American Legion, paid tribute to millions of servicemen and women who had signed up after the world's deadliest terror strike 10 years ago killed nearly 3,000 people.
"Today, as we near this solemn anniversary, it's fitting that we salute the extraordinary decade of service rendered by the 9/11 generation -- the more than five million Americans who have worn the uniform over the past 10 years," Obama said.
"Today we pay humble tribute to the more than 6,200 Americans in uniform who have given their lives in this hard decade of war. We honor them all."
Obama said the 9/11 veterans had become a "one America" team that changed the way their country fights and wins its wars and had learned the cultures of the lands in which they had served.
"Trained to fight, they've taken on the role of diplomats, mayors and development experts, negotiating with tribal sheikhs, working with village shuras, and partnering with communities," Obama said.