House and Senate lawmakers gathered today in the Capitol Rotunda to remember and pay tribute to U.S. Soldiers who've served in Iraq and Afghanistan. The half-hour ceremony was complete with the Presentation of Colors by the United States Armed Forces Color Guard and the National Anthem sung by a local Washington, D.C., high school student. The front row was reserved for service members who were wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Minority Leader John Boehner, Senate majority leader Harry Reid and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell all did their best to put political differences aside to focus on the members of the military serving all over the world. The sharp words normally slung about a failed war in Iraq were avoided.
Reid urged members of the audience to not forget the men and women serving in Afghanistan saying they are in out hearts and in our prayers. McConnell acknowledged that the past five years have not been easy, but urged the audience to remember that "the purpose of war is peace." Pelosi spoke of creating a peaceful future worthy of members of the military and their sacrifice.
After a closing prayer by the House chaplain, the ceremony broke up with the U.S. Marine Band Brass Quintet playing God Bless America. Daniel Webster, a member if the 101st Airborne out of Fort Campbell, Ky., had one of the front-row seats. He was hit by an Improvised Explosive Device in Iraq and is still receiving medical care at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. Webster seemed moved by all the Senators and Representatives filing by to shake his hand and thank him.
Webster said the ceremony was very nice and that after a few more surgeries, he definitely wants to return to Iraq.