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updated: 3/26/2014 9:31 AM

Obama pays tribute to WWI at Flanders Field

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  • President Barack Obama walks among gravestones of World War I soldiers at the World War I Flanders Field American Cemetery in Waregem, Belgium. The cemetery contains the remains of 368 U.S. WWI military and support personnel. Of those remains, 21 are unknown and could not be identified.

      President Barack Obama walks among gravestones of World War I soldiers at the World War I Flanders Field American Cemetery in Waregem, Belgium. The cemetery contains the remains of 368 U.S. WWI military and support personnel. Of those remains, 21 are unknown and could not be identified.
    Associated Press

 
Associated Press

WAREGEM, Belgium -- President Barack Obama is paying tribute to American troops who died a century ago in the struggle to save Europe in World War I.

Obama has laid a wreath at a memorial at Flanders Field in Belgium. That's where hundreds of fallen troops who helped liberate Belgium are buried.

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Obama says the visit reminds us never to take progress for granted. He says Belgium and the U.S. stand together forever for freedom, dignity and the triumph of the human spirit.

To those buried at the site, Obama says, quote, "We can say we caught the torch. We kept the faith."

Obama says the war's lessons are still relevant. He's pointing to ongoing efforts to rid Syria of chemical weapons, which were also used at in the wider area Obama visited.

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