- (Photo: Reuters/Jason Reed)
President Obama, Sarah Palin, and 2012 presidential candidates will honor America's veterans by participating in services and events on Memorial Day.
President Obama will visit the Arlington National Cemetery today where he and his wife Michelle Obama will participate in a wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknowns. After the ceremony, they will join a Memorial Day service at the Memorial Amphitheater at the cemetery.
In his Memorial Day proclamation, Obama declared May 30 a day of prayer for permanent peace and called the nation to unite in a time of prayer at 11:00 a.m. local time Monday. He also asked all Americans to observe the National Moment of Remembrance beginning at 3:00 p.m. local time on Memorial Day.
"On this Memorial Day, we honor the generations of Americans who have fought and died to defend our freedom," the president said in this proclamation issued Friday.
"On this solemn day in which Americans unite in remembrance of our country's fallen, we also pray for our military personnel and their families, our veterans, and all who have lost loved ones. As a grateful Nation, we forever carry the selfless sacrifice of our fallen heroes in our hearts, and we share the task of caring for those they left behind."
Former Godfather's Pizza CEO Herman Cain, who announced his run for the GOP nod for president in mid-May, will pay tribute to fallen U.S. soldiers by attending a Memorial Day service in Hampstead, N.H.
Former Minnesota Governor and Republican presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty, who announced his candidacy last week, will spend Memorial Day campaigning in Iowa. He will deliver remarks at 10 a.m. at a pancake breakfast in Waukee. Pawlenty will stay in Iowa until Wednesday.
Though former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin has not officially declared her intention to run as a Republican presidential candidate in the 2012 race, the announcement of her nationwide bus tour has been seen as a precursor to a likely bid for the White House.
Her bus tour launched Sunday with Palin joining a Rolling Thunder Memorial Day rally for veterans. She rode alongside thousands of other motorcyclists in Washington D.C.
On Memorial Day, Palin is expected to visit the National Archives in Washington; Mount Vernon, Va.; and Gettysburg, Pa.
"Our nation is at a critical turning point," said Palin in a statement.
"As we look to the future, we are propelled by America's past. It's imperative that we connect with our founders, our patriots, our challenges and victories to clearly see our way forward."
Republican Congresswoman Michele Bachmann of Minnesota will speak on Memorial Day at a joint county GOP picnic in Dover, NH. She said she will make a presidential announcement next month in Iowa.
Newt Gingrich, who tweeted his intent to run for the Republican presidential nod earlier this month, did not announce a schedule for Memorial Day but released a statement asking Americans to "take a moment to say a prayer for the brave men and women stationed across the world, putting their lives at risk to defend our freedom from those who would do us harm."