Monday holiday honors those who served our country

Across the nation, Americans are commemorating Veterans Day with parades, wreath-laying ceremonies, monument dedications and other events.

In Rhode Island, the city of Pawtucket honored all those who serve and have served our country, including one soldier who recently made the ultimate sacrifice.

The ceremony was one that spanned generations. {} It included members of the Tolman High school band and chorus and veterans from different wars who served over the years.

An especially poignant moment came when Lincoln Fire Chief Frank Sylvester talked about his service in Korea and what many call the forgotten war.

In a separate ceremony, the city also honored resident Dennis Poulin, a Massachusetts Army National Guard soldier and former resident who died two years ago after his vehicle rolled over in Afghanistan.{} A monument will be dedicated in his honor in Slater Park.

Gov. Lincoln Chafee attended a Veterans Day observance Monday at the state Veterans Home in Bristol.

In East Greenwich, a wreath laying ceremony was held Monday morning followed by a parade starting at Academy Field and ending at town hall on Main Street.

And in Providence, a midday wreath-laying took place at Soldiers Arch on the Brown University campus as the Ivy League school marked Veterans' Day. The events also included a procession from the College Green to the Ruth Simmons Quadrangle.

President Obama honored our military by laying a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery.

The "freedom bell" rang at the cemetery. After a ceremonial bell-ringing people were invited to ring the bell to honor a loved one in the military or pay tribute to the armed forces.

The District of Columbia honored two of the original Tuskegee Airmen with the Congressional Gold Medal for Veterans Day.

Washington Mayor Vincent Gray and congressional delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton placed a wreath at the African American Civil War Memorial. A commemoration followed for two Tuskegee Airmen who are D.C. residents at the African American Civil War Museum.

The Tuskegee Airmen were a group of African-American pilots in World War II.

And in New York City, the U.S. military's first female four-star general served as grand marshal at their Veterans Day Parade.

Gen. Ann E. Dunwoody retired last year after a 37-year Army career.

Organizers of the parade up Fifth Avenue have renamed it America's Parade. The commemoration included a wreath-laying ceremony at the Eternal Light Monument in Madison Square Park.

Even the Boston Red Sox honored those who served our country.

All veterans and active military members were entitled to enter Fenway Park for free tours on Monday.

The tours began at 10 a.m. with the tast tour scheduled for 5 p.m.

Veterans and active military members must show their military identifications for free tour tickets. Those will be available at the Gate D ticket booth.

And over the weekend, Providence's public art display WaterFire held a special river lighting honoring military veterans ahead of the Veterans Day holiday.

The Rhode Island Professional Firefighters Pipes and Drums led a procession of veterans into Waterplace Basin. They were joined by others surrounding the basin in a "ring of fire" ceremony. The Navy Band Northeast from Newport and the Army 88th Band will play the national anthem.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.