President Barack Obama walked in the rain among the graves of U.S. casualties from the Iraq and Afghan wars at Arlington National Cemetery and took an unscheduled detour into section 60, a thicket of simple white headstones, to mark Veterans Day.
Tales from the Trail
Barack Obama laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery Sunday before heading off to church with his family.
The Obamas attended services at the Nineteenth Street Baptist Church, which in the mysterious ways of Washington is located on 16th Street about 4 miles north of the White House.
Obama and Vice President-elect Joe Biden started their day with a visit to the Tomb of the Unknowns. Streets near Blair House, where the Obamas are staying, and near the cemetery were lined with waving people.
In a blustery chill under gray skies, Obama and Biden, dressed in long black coats, placed the wreath in front of the tomb and then listened in silence, hands over hearts, as “Taps” was played.
Obama, his wife Michelle, two daughters and mother-in-law attended services at the Nineteenth Street church.
Parishioners seemed to be aware the president-elect would be attending. The sanctuary, which members said is usually only a third full, was packed.
The church was singing an opening song when the Obama family walked in. The congregation stood and applauded as they proceeded down the aisle behind the Rev. Dr. Derrick Harkins, shaking hands and waving to people as they went.
The Obama family sat in the second row near the altar. Daughter Sasha produced a camera and apparently got off a snap of sister Malia before their grandmother, Marian Robinson, confiscated the device.