On this Veterans Day, state leaders honored men and women who have served in the military and called on the nation to do more to help veterans.
The Veteran's Day event in the State House Hall of Flags included remembrances and music recognizing the sacrifices of veterans and their families.
Army Nation Guard Reservist, Sen. Scott Brown, said this is not a day for politics: "We're Americans first," he said.
He said employers should focus on hiring veterans because they face a 20 percent unemployment rate upon returning home, pointing to his efforts to push through federal legislation also designed to increase employment among veterans. The Senate on Thursday approved a similar initiative offered by President Obama.
Also on Friday, Brown's campaign announced the formation of a "Veterans for Brown" committee.
Gov. Deval Patrick spoke of a veteran he met in Iraq who had never met his five-month old child.
"To the thousands of Massachusetts military personnel currently protecting our interests abroad, I want to express our gratitude, our pride and our enduring support," Patrick said.
Patrick used the Friday holiday to sign a $52 million supplemental spending measure that includes $1 million in Welcome Home Bonus payments and additional veterans' benefits. The administration is also working with trade groups to encourage employers to hire veterans for open jobs.
Meanwhile, several parades and memorial ceremonies were held Friday.
Banks and post offices are closed, and the MBTA is running on a regular weekday schedule.
This article was originally published on November 11, 2011.
This program aired on November 11, 2011. The audio for this program is not available.