Prince Harry salutes war dead at Arlington

Published on NewsOK Modified: May 10, 2013 at 2:24 pm •  Published: May 10, 2013
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The prince also paid his respects at the grave of the British officer, Major Gen. Orde Wingate, who created the Chindits, troops who fought behind enemy lines against the Japanese in World War II, developing guerrilla tactics familiar in today's special forces. He died in the crash of a U.S. bomber in 1944. His remains and those of other crash victims, most American, were later moved to Arlington.

At the Tomb of the Unknowns, representing the unidentified dead of all American wars, hundreds gathered as the U.S. Army band, Pershing's Own, played the national anthems of the U.S. and Britain, and the prince stepped forward to place a wreath of poppies. Harry then saluted as the "The Last Post" sounded. His handwritten note on the wreath read: "In grateful memory of all those who have given their lives in the cause of freedom."

The prince offered comradeship and empathy to the wounded at Walter Reed, where officials introduced him to a high-tech treadmill that projects a virtual world on a screen and is used to help patients with posture, balance and pain.

"We've got nothing like this back in the U.K." he said. "You guys as Americans are used to the technology; we are always behind."

He sat on a bed and chatted with Staff Sgt. Tim Payne, 30, of Montana, injured by an IED in Afghanistan's Kandahar Province. "We talked about how I got injured and that I like swimming," Payne said after. "I told him I swim 4,000 meters a day and someday will swim the English Channel. Harry said, 'That's a crazy idea.'"

The prince opened his visit Thursday with a tour of an exhibition in Congress about land-mine removal, a cause embraced by his late mother, Princess Diana. He also surprised military mothers and their children at an unannounced visit to an afternoon tea at the White House hosted by first lady Michelle Obama and Vice President Joe Biden's wife, Jill. The prince joined in helping the kids make Mother's Day gifts from tulip and rose bouquets, vegetable chips and edible dough jewelry.

Harry will also visit parts of New Jersey damaged by Superstorm Sandy and stop for events in New York City before ending his visit by playing in the Sentebale Polo Cup match in Greenwich, Conn., on Wednesday.

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Associated Press writers Henry C. Jackson and Stacy A. Anderson contributed to this report.