NEW YORK, May 25 (Xinhua) -- Ceremonies marking the Memorial Day, a day commemorating U.S. men and women who died while in the military service, were held on the Intrepid aircraft carrier here on Monday.
New York Governor David Paterson and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand took part in the Memorial Day service earlier in the day at the Intrepid, which has been turned into a sea, air and space museum.
It's the first time since 2006 that Memorial Day ceremonies have taken place on board the carrier, which just underwent a multi-million dollar makeover.
An observance was also attended by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg earlier in the day at the Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument in Riverside Park in Manhattan.
The mayor praised the countless veterans from the area, especially the 85 New Yorkers who died in Iraq and Afghanistan since the beginning of the wars.
U.S. President Barack Obama on Monday praised the men and women of America's fighting forces as the "best of America."
The president spoke after participating in a solemn Memorial Day tradition, laying a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns at the Arlington National Cemetery in Washington. It is the burial ground for American veterans dating back to the Revolutionary War.
Many Americans observe this holiday by visiting cemeteries and memorials. A national moment of remembrance took place at 3 p.m. local time. Another tradition is to fly the flag of the United States at half-staff from dawn until noon local time. Volunteers often place American flags on each grave site at National Cemeteries.
In addition to national observances, many individual communities hold memorial observance for fallen soldiers who were from that town by having a ceremony in a church or town memorial park.