Vice President Joe Biden is saluting military veterans, calling them not only the heart and soul, but the spine of the nation.

Biden spoke at Arlington National Cemetery, where he participated in a wreath-laying ceremony in honor of Veterans' Day.

Biden singled out the generation of men and women who joined the armed forces after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. He said the 3.5 million men and women of that 911 military generation made their decision with the near certainty they would be deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan. He noted that more than 2.6 million ended up serving in those wars.

Biden said that the United States has never before "asked so much over such a sustained period of an all-volunteer force."