President Barack Obama welcomed wounded veterans at the White House Thursday as part of a four-day bicycle ride that is raising awareness of U.S. servicemen and women who battle the physical and psychological effects of combat.
Click play to watch part of the ceremony at the White House.
The Wounded Warrior Project's Soldier Ride is a four-day bicycling opportunity for wounded service members and veterans to use cycling and the bonds of service to overcome physical, mental, or emotional wounds.
"We hold a lot of events here at the White House, but few are as inspiring as this one," Obama said. "For the past seven years this has become one of our favorite traditions. This year, we've got 40 active duty riders and 25 veterans, many of you are recovering from major injuries."
"You've learned how to adapt to a new life, some of you are still working through wounds that are harder to see like post-traumatic stress. And like countless riders across the country, part of this great movement is to help each other, for all of us to see each other get across that finish line," Obama continued.
"And that's how America's supposed to work. That's how our military works, and it doesn't stop when you take off the uniform," he said.
Capt. William Reynolds, a wounded warrior, also addressed the crowd on the South Lawn.
"As I look around the crowd, I see a few things. First, I see numerous service members and veteran organizations whose logos we all proudly wear," Reynolds said. "This shows the outpouring of public and private support for the men and women of our great nation's military and that it takes a village to support us as we transition."
"Second, I see a resilient population -- one that does not let invisible nor visible wounds, illnesses or injuries define them, but rather uses them as a way to re-enlist strength and to inspire," he continued.
"Third, I see a population that is one of the country's greatest assets. All of you will go on to do great things for your families, communities, companies and our country," Reynolds added. "I urge all of you to keep setting higher goals."
President Obama said the ride brings attention to what our military has done in defense of our nation.
"It's a reminder of the sacrifices that our men and women in uniform have made to keep our nation free," he said. "And it's a reminder that for those who are called to serve, their mission doesn't end on the battlefield -- it's one you carry with you for the rest of your lives."
"Our veterans will tell you themselves, they may have put away their uniforms, but they're not finished serving their country. That includes our wounded warriors who are here today who often tell me that, as soon as they can, they want to serve their country again," he continued. "Service is in their DNA; giving back is what you all do."
"You represent what's best about our nation, and I hope all of the American people along the route will come out and show their support for these heroes, not just today, but every single day," the president said.
President Obama sounded the horn, and the wounded warriors rode a lap around the South Lawn, then made their way onto the streets of Washington, D.C.