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Unloved Veterans; Pakistan Emergency Continues

Aired November 11, 2007 - 17:00   ET


FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: Plus, the so-called unloved soldiers, appreciation for how Americans treat their warriors. And in Pakistan, White House pressure to lift the state of emergency goes unheeded.
You are in the NEWSROOM. I'm Fredricka Whitfield. Today a nation at war gives thanks to the men and women who have fought their country's battles. Within the past hour, President Bush completed a speech in Waco, Texas, commemorating Veterans Day. In his role of commander in chief, Mr. Bush delivered a heartfelt tribute to those who have served in times of war.


BUSH: I thank our nation's veterans for the fine example that you have set for our country. I thank you for your courage and your patriotism and your devotion to duty. I thank you for standing up for the men and women of our armed forces. And I thank you for all you do to support the families they leave behind during this time of war.


WHITFIELD: With the president in Texas, the vice president there at the tomb of the unknowns at the Arlington National Cemetery. He delivered remarks at the tomb as well and singled out the Americans now fighting in Iraq.

Also today, not far away from Arlington National Cemetery in the nation's capital at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial wall, this is the 25th anniversary of the memorial being in place and among those speaking, Vietnam vet and former secretary of state Colin Powell.


COLIN POWELL, FMR. SECRETARY OF STATE: The honor between the walls was designed so that one wall pointed toward the Lincoln Memorial and the other toward the Washington Monument. But they also represent outstretched arms to all who would come to this place. The arms said come, come closer, see valor, see sacrifice; see what has made this country great. Pray and give thanks. There are no politics here, no policy disagreements, just the silence of sacrifice.


WHITFIELD: On this Veterans Day, the marking of the 25th anniversary of the dedication of that Vietnam Veterans memorial war. The black granite monument is known to many people as simply the wall. Senior pentagon correspondent Jamie McIntyre looks now at its origin and its impact.


JAMIE MCINTYRE, CNN SR. PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): For 25 years, this black granite edifice has been a testament to how a memorial can be more than merely a monument. The wall, as it quickly became known, is the center piece of a Vietnam veterans memorial and changed the way we think about honoring our war dead. Born in controversy, the radically simple design was originally a school project by a Yale architecture student, 21-year-old Chinese American Mya Lynn. A professional who lost to Lynn in the design competition, turned her crude drawing into this vision. Still the critics wailed an ugly gash on the National Mall, a gravestone, an attempt to bury the war. But that's not how it turned out. The wall, with its highly polished surface, became both a mirror and a window, a touchstone to the past. Reflections, a classic painting by artist Lee Teeter, perfectly captures the emotion.

What no one anticipated was how so many visitors would leave a piece of themselves behind. Among the flowers and flags, a photograph, framed, a battle worn hat, a baseball mitt, even a stuffed animal from a mother to her son. One recent addition, the stars from a chairman of the joint chiefs, left on the day of his retirement. These are yours, not mine, scrawled Pete Pace, to his long lost platoon mate, 19 year old Guido Faranaro(ph), closure. The word has become a cliche, but it's the ability to bring closure that is the most remarkable quality of this mending wall. A statue was added to assuage the critics, but the memorial's power comes from the names, 58,249 and room for more. All the dead and missing from an entire war. No memorial had ever attempted so complete a commemoration. Now it's the standard. For ensuring the memory of no warrior is left on some distant battlefield. Jamie McIntyre, CNN, Washington.


WHITFIELD: Nebraska Senator Chuck Hagel is one Vietnam veteran who was at the dedication of the Vietnam memorial 25 years ago. He was there again today as the nation honors all its veterans. We'll talk to him at the bottom of the hour.

It is also Veterans Day of sorts in Britain.

There it is called remembrance Sunday. Queen Elizabeth and members of the royal family led Britain and commonwealth nations in honoring their war dead. Prince William took part in the ceremony, he laid a wreath at the memorial at White Hall.

And Pakistan's president states his case in his first news conference since declaring emergency rule a week ago. Pervez Musharraf vowed to hold parliamentary elections before January 9th. But he did not say when he plans to lift the state of emergency, which he insists was needed to safeguard the country from extremists. U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice urged General Musharraf to end emergency rule as soon as possible. But she welcomed his election announcement, calling it a positive development. General Musharraf isn't letting up on the media, however, a blackout on broadcasts of the political crisis remains in place.

And many journalists are protesting the blackout there. One well-known TV anchor is refusing to be intimidated, even though his life may be in danger in Pakistan. Reporting now from Islamabad, CNN international correspondent Dan Rivers.


DAN RIVERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Geo TV is literally on the front line of a media war in Pakistan. In March, their newsroom was raided by police. According to the station, part of the concerted government campaign to silence this privately owned independent news channel. The most recent raid was just three days ago. Police looking for satellite equipment to stop one of Pakistan's best known anchors from broadcasting his show.

HAMID MIR, JOURNALIST: (INAUDIBLE) -- told me just a few days ago that Mr. Mir please behave, otherwise you can be killed in a small road accident.

RIVERS: A government spokesman told CNN he was unaware of any such threats. Still, Hamid Mir goes to extraordinary lengths to get his show on air.

MIR: We go for a secret location from where we have set up our satellite system and then we transfer our recorded program to our Dubai office. And then from there it is aired all over the world. And I am also changing my sleeping place every night. I'm not sleeping at my home.

RIVERS: The show must go on, even though it's being taped in a safe house. Most Pakistanis can't see it. Cable transmissions are being blocked by the government. This show was taped with the opposition politician in Rankon(ph) who is in hiding. Hamid Mir is used to taking risks. He was one of the first journalists into the remote swamp valley after insurgents took control of some areas last month. And he managed to get an interview with Osama bin Laden after 9/11. Now he's taking a risk just visiting his own newsroom. Conscious that at any moment the police could burst through the door.

(On Camera): Journalists like Hamid Mir are normally challenging emergency law in their broadcasts, bringing their defiance out onto the streets. The black flags to mourn the end of freedom of speech.

(Voice-over): Hamid Mir has united rival anchors, writers and academics in his defense of independent journalism. Successive governments have tried and failed to silence him.

MIR: When Benazir Bhutto started fighting with media, our government was finished. (INAUDIBLE) started fighting with media, his government was also finished. Now Pervez Musharraf who is fighting with media like enemy and I think his days are numbered.

RIVERS: And Hamid Mir is determined he'll be there to report it, even if he has to abandon his studio for a secret location. Dan Rivers, CNN, Islamabad. (END OF VIDEOTAPE)

WHITFIELD: (INAUDIBLE) talk presidential politics in this country. Let's call it the Mormon factor now. Up next in the CNN NEWSROOM, CNN's election express rolls through Utah. We jump onboard to find out what affect the Republican strong hold could have on the presidential election who happens to be a Mormon, live to the bee hive state, coming up next.


WHITFIELD: Take a look at your calendar. Can you believe, just less than a year away from the 2008 election? Actually by this point next year, maybe we'll actually know who the president is, just in case it may not be hung up in the Supreme Court. Any way, just days away from the next Democratic presidential debate, which will be here live on CNN. Wolf Blitzer moderates Thursday night's Vegas showdown. And CNN's senior political analyst William Schneider, I don't know why we keep scripting William. Bill, can we go back to Bill Schneider? There you are, en route to sin city. You have a preview right now making your stop in Salina, Utah where, you know, Bush approval ratings, I don't know, are they up, are they down, are they different from the rest of the country where we know approval ratings are really in the toilet for Mr. President?

WILLIAM SCHNEIDER, CNN SR. POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, I don't think the president can be doing that badly here in Utah. This is the most Republican state in the country. They voted 72 percent for George Bush in 2004. So he's probably retained some popularity here. This is an important state for the Republicans. It is the home of the Mormon Church and there is for the second time a Mormon candidate running for president. The first was Orrin Hatch. He didn't get very far. Now we have Mitt Romney, who's actually the governor of Massachusetts. And one of the big questions hanging over his candidacy is, is there a measurable amount of anti-Mormon prejudice in the country? Will it hamper his campaign? So far he's doing very well in Iowa and in New Hampshire, two states where there is not a large Mormon population. We'll see what happens to him. He's running a very strong campaign.

WHITFIELD: Wow, so Romney should feel pretty at home in Utah then, right?

SCHNEIDER: That's right. He was here for the Salt Lake City winter Olympics, which he helped to save after the Olympics got into a lot of trouble. That's one of the major items on his resume.

WHITFIELD: All right, you're on the way to Las Vegas. Just in time for later on in the week for these debates to take place. What are the folks in Nevada wanting to hear, what do they want to hear from these candidates as they go toe to toe?

SCHNEIDER: Well, they are going toe to toe in Nevada, which is a bell weather state, unlike Utah, Nevada has voted for the winner in every presidential election for just about the past century, only one exception, 1976. Nevada is a fast-growing state with a heavy population of retirees, Latino voters, fast growing union population and the Democrats there want to hear them address the issues of importance to the west, particularly issues relating to water supply. There are bound to be questions coming up about nuclear waste disposal, a very, very hot issue in Utah. And I am betting that the economy is going to be a big issue, because with the downturn in the stock market, with the downturn in the housing market, with the up tick in gas prices, the economy has now become the number one issue to voters, and particularly for Democrats. You know what, Fredricka, I bet that somehow in this debate, Hillary Clinton, the senator from New York, is going to find a way to mention that when another Clinton was in the White House in the 1990s, the economy was doing pretty well.

WHITFIELD: Yeah, because that is probably going to be perhaps what she feels to be one of her strong points, even though she says her politics, her approach to the White House is not necessarily that of her husband. She really has gone out quite aggressively to draw the distinction, hasn't she? But on the economy, maybe she'll return back to that.

SCHNEIDER: That's right. She wants to turn back to it on the economy. That's something Democrats in particular remember with great pride that the economy did well. There has not been a recession under a democratic president since the 1930s with one exception, and that was Jimmy Carter. But otherwise, every recession has been under a Republican president. Democrats believe the economy is their issue. It's the issue they live on and they're going to put a lot of stress on that I'm sure in the debate Thursday night in Las Vegas.

WHITFIELD: All right, so right now you're in Salina, Utah. How many more miles, how many more hours, how long before you actually get to Vegas?

SCHNEIDER: Oh I think it's about 400 miles to Las Vegas, something like that. So it's about eight hours drive. We'll probably going to spend the night on the way. You know what they say, what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas. This time that ain't true. What happens in Vegas is going to have world significance.

WHITFIELD: That's right, it will. And you're going to help bring it to everybody at home. Thanks so much, Bill. Appreciate it. Be safe on the road. Of course, your eight hour trip will become like three days because we're going to stop you along the way for all these live shots.

SCHNEIDER: I hope so.

WHITFIELD: All right, well pleasant dreams in your hotel stay this evening. Thanks Bill. All bets are off once Bill Schneider hits the Vegas strip for the Democratic debate. He'll be joined by Wolf Blitzer and the best political team on television. And oh yeah, the Democratic candidates, they'll be there, too. You can watch the debate right here on CNN this Thursday night, 8:00 eastern. You don't want to miss it.

The west coast has been getting pounded by storm after storm after storm. Is that the case now, Jacqui? It was fires we talked about a few weeks ago, now its storm, storm, storm.

JACQUI JERAS: We've got one after another, one down and at least three to go. Find out how it's going to impact not just the west but the east as well. That's coming up in your forecast.

WHITFIELD: All right, thanks so much Jacqui. Also up next, a picket line instead of a chorus line on Broadway. We'll talk to the hands who are striking off stage.


WHITFIELD: Let's take a look at news across America. Bolingbrook, Illinois, volunteers are taking a different tact in their search for 23-year-old Stacy Peterson. Search organizer Tim Miller says they'll spend today day reviewing more than 2,000 aerial photos of the 40 square mile area that was searched yesterday. Peterson has been missing now for two weeks. Her husband is now considered a suspect.

From the darkened great white way of Broadway, the second day of the stage hand strike has the union talking publicly and demanding a more professional demeanor from theater owners and producers. They want that before any bargaining in good faith actually begins. They say they're fighting for their livelihood.


JAMES CAFFEY, PRESIDENT, LOCAL ONE UNION: Unlike the producers, we are not fighting for our second or third homes, we are fighting to keep the one that we have. We ask for everyone's understanding in our efforts to defend ourselves and protect our families.


WHITFIELD: Let's take a trip to New Orleans, shall we? The St. Charles streetcar back on track or at least a good part of it. The historic line reopening in New Orleans, taking place today for the first time since hurricane Katrina in 2005. At least on this scale. Only about half of the 13-mile line is up and running, but it is a start.

Well, watch your first step, Mr. President. George Herbert Walker Bush sky diving with a little help from the U.S. army parachute squad yesterday, so in very good hands. This isn't 41's first plunge. You'll recall that he did this before, and it was to celebrate his 80th birthday. This dive, we're told, is to highlight the reopening of his presidential museum and he says you know what, he's not done. He's going to do it again two years from now on his 86th birthday. Not bad for a man who fairly recently had hip replacement surgery.


WHITFIELD: Well, from service to the streets. One out of four homeless Americans is a war veteran. And you know that's a shame. The faces are getting younger every year.


WHITFIELD: A United States at war, pausing today to honor the men and women who have fought the nation's battles.

Vice President Dick Cheney paid tribute to veterans at the Arlington National Cemetery at the tomb of the unknowns. And a short time ago President Bush gave a Veterans Day address in Waco, Texas. Mr. Bush making it a point to underscore his responsibilities as commander in chief. And then at the Vietnam Wall, an especially poignant day there in the nation's capital, this stark reminder of the Vietnam War was formally dedicated 25 years ago Tuesday. The wall was. Well, here one of the nation's best known Vietnam vets paying tribute to this piece of hollowed ground, former U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell.


COLIN POWELL, FORMER U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: In this wall that has stood here for 25 years, there is magic in that wall. How could two pieces of granite engraved with names and placed in a depression in the earth come to be the most famous memorial in a city endowed with so many monumental tributes to men of honor?


WHITFIELD: So while many vets marched today, others are searching for a place to sleep. A new study finds one out of four homeless people in the U.S. is a veteran. And their faces are changing. Younger vets from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are now showing up at shelters and soup kitchens.

Vince Gonzalez has their story.


RYAN SUSSMAN, HOMELESS VETERAN: This is just pretty much where we stay, at rooms like these.

VINCE GONZALEZ, CNN NEWS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Former Navy Airman Ryan Sussman is part of a new troop surge at home that has officials worried.

SUSSMAN: Better than a cold sidewalk, yes, definitely.

GONZALEZ: Sussman, who served aboard the USS Carl Vinson, quickly found himself homeless after his discharge.

The same thing happened to veteran Jason Kelly.

JASON KELLY, HOMELESS VETERAN: I got stuck in a situation where I couldn't get a job because I didn't have an apartment. And I couldn't get an apartment because I didn't have a job.

GONZALEZ: Kelly's job in Iraq was to patrol convoy routes for roadside bombs.

KELLY: Basically kind of attract fire, if there is any, so it doesn't hit the convoy.

GONZALEZ: Both found it hard to readjust to civilian life.

Sussman can't fathom how he ended up in a homeless shelter.

SUSSMAN: Alcoholics, hard core drug users that you're staying with in this small area. And I'm like what am I here for, I don't belong here.

GONZALEZ (on camera): He's not alone. A report released last week by the National Alliance to End Homelessness found a quarter of the nation's homeless are veterans. On any given night, that means 200,000 without a home.

(voice-over): Vietnam vets took years to slide into homelessness. But veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan, who have higher rates of post traumatic stress, are hitting the streets much more quickly.

Sussman and Kelly eventually found a place at a government housing program run by the U.S. Veterans Initiative, which has seen the problem grow.

DWIGHT RADCLIFF, U.S. VETERANS INITIATIVE: The lack of the ability to go and get employment without having an address, the -- we have hundreds of thousands of veterans at risk of being homeless.

GONZALEZ: In his radio address, President Bush reaffirmed his commitment to veterans.

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Under my administration, federal spending for our veterans has increased by more than two-thirds. We've extended medical treatment to a million additional veterans, including hundreds of thousands returning from Afghanistan and Iraq.

GONZALEZ: But these veterans are bewildered how quickly they fell through the cracks and worry they've been abandoned.

KELLY: To a degree, yes. It's not really abandoned but just currently ignored.

SUSSMAN: It just makes you want to curl up in a ball and say, you know, forget it. Forget it, it's not worth it.

GONZALEZ: Vince Gonzalez for CNN in Los Angeles.


WHITFIELD: This is terribly disappointing. Homelessness is just one of the problems facing some returning vets. Access to medical care is another.

CNN's Josh Levs is here to tell us what if anything is being done. This question is being asked to so many war vets who, whether they have the experience from Vietnam and comparing it to what's happening now post Iraq War and Afghanistan war.

JOSH LEVS, CNN BUSINESS ANALYST: It's been a depressing year for veterans.


LEVS: In terms of a lot of veterans, these new figures coming out, and what happened earlier this year, and what that does, in the end, especially in this respect in looking at medical care, what it does this year is it casts this whole holiday in a different light.


LEVS (voice-over): Veterans Day -- each year it's about gratitude and patriotism. But this year it's also about overcoming a national shame.

ANNETTE MCLEOD, WIFE OF CPL. WENDELL MCLEOD: This is how we treat our soldiers. We give them nothing.

LEVS: The congressional hearings and scandal over deplorable conditions at Walter Reed Army Medical Center put into new light what President Bush had often said in the past.

BUSH: I can say to the loved ones in the military that their sons and daughters and husbands and wives get the very best medical care there is.

LEVS: The administration says it understands the problems and is fixing them.

BUSH: We have an outdated system that can bog down with some of those recovering in a maze of bureaucracy.

LEVS: Speaking last week at a new medical facility in Texas, the president called for legislation need to enact some changes and for a Veterans Affairs spending bill.

BUSH: Congress needs to take prompt action.

LEVS: The Associated Press notes that veterans groups have been thankful to this Congress for large budget increases engineered by Democrats. Still, the National Veterans Foundation points to a series of problems that need attention, like a backlog of claims for veterans benefits, struggles with post traumatic stress disorder and substance abuse rates There are also concerns over homelessness.

NAN ROMAN, NATIONAL ALLIANCE TO END HOMELESSNESS: While veterans make up 11 percent of the civilian population, 26 percent of homeless people are veterans.

LEVS: The U.S. veterans population includes nearly 24 million people, about 250,000 are 100 percent disabled. And the U.S. military says more than 28,000 troops have been wounded in action in Iraq.


LEVS: A lot of helpful things to keep in mind on Veterans Day and thinking ahead to the people who will become veterans when they are done with their service, however that will be.

And Fred, one thing that I think is interesting, throughout the year, veterans are a political tool in a lot of ways. All the candidates cite them at their events, but what you see more often around this time is just honoring them, everyone coming together, even just for a day. And the only relationship to veterans is honoring them. It's not tearing the nation apart, so the political divisiveness that we can often see, the political divisiveness that we can often see.

WHITFIELD: Right. But it is eliciting -- these issues, challenges are eliciting lots of discussions and debates on this day and even outside of because it can't go ignored.

LEVS: These things are so serious. When you've got the homelessness, and we were talking about the post traumatic stress disorder and now also the problems with the medical care, obviously it's something that needs to be done. That's what we're looking for.

WHITFIELD: Josh, thanks so much.

LEVS: Thank you.

WHITFIELD: These are things that Vietnam veteran, as well as Senator, Chuck Hagel talked to me about. He addresses these issues. He was one of the people that were at the special memorial service at the Vietnam Veteran's Wall.

Today, he feels very passionate about the veterans and, you know, what this country is doing for them and not doing for them. So we'll show you much more of that conversation coming up here in the "NEWSROOM."



WHITFIELD: After the emotional scene at the Veterans Memorial in Washington today, thousands of vets, their families, are marking Veterans Day and commemorating the wall's 25th anniversary.

Among those at the wall today, Nebraska Senator Chuck Hagel, a veteran of the Vietnam War. I talked to him shortly after today's ceremony.


WHITFIELD (on camera): Do you feel like this country is doing enough to help particularly the Iraq War vets get back on their feet, recover, and get all the medical attention, therapies that they need? SEN. CHUCK HAGEL, (D), NEBRASKA: No, I don't think we are. As a matter of fact, Senator Webb and I, another Vietnam veteran, have sponsored a new G.I. Bill for members who get out of the services, like what we did in World War II. We're shortchanging these people. We're shortchanging them in every way.

The other part of this is that America is just starting to understand. We're asking about 1 percent of our population, actually less than 1 percent, to carry all the burden, make all the sacrifice, do all the fighting, do all the dying, ruin their families and we're not at war, we say we are. 1 percent of our population is at war. There's no war footing of industries. Most people are not making any sacrifices, tax cuts, consumerism. That's not war.

So if we're going to ask these people -- and they volunteer to serve to do this -- we need to make sure that the other end, we do all we can to help them.

WHITFIELD: What is the answer? What do you tell a frustrated vet as to why we, as a country, are shortchanging these vets when that was the complaint we heard following the Vietnam War, you being a veteran of the Vietnam War, it seems like we're doing this all over again.

HAGEL: I think in this particular case, there are two main reasons. One, we don't have a draft. So you've got most of the American population disconnected from this war. They may support the war; dislike the war. But they don't, as the saying goes, most people don't have any skin in the game. It's not their sons and daughters over there fighting, like in Vietnam where you had a draft. That engaged the entire population.

Second, I think since because we have an all-voluntary service, most Americans say, well, they volunteer, that's their problem. They know what they're getting into. They take the risks. They know what the deal is.

And I think now finally America is starting to reframe all of this in an important societal way. I do look for our Congress to move on the Webb-Hagel bill and some of these other important pieces of legislation. Go beyond just echoing the politician's verbiage here. We all go out and say we need to help our veterans. Well, if that's the case, let's put our money where our mouth is. Let's actually do something.

WHITFIELD: You're not pursuing a third term, no to a run for the presidency. So what's next for you?

HAGEL: Well, I don't know. I have about 14 months to go on my second term. Twelve years in the Senate, I think, is enough. I said it was when I first ran. I hope to find some opportunity to continue to serve in some way to make a better world, influence the direction of our country. I don't know what that is or where that goes, but I will worry about it in 14 months.

WHITFIELD: Senator Chuck Hagel, thank you so much, and thank you for your service.

HAGEL: Thank you very much. Happy Veterans Day.

WHITFIELD: If you know anybody who is a war vet, thank them today.


WHITFIELD: Or someone who has served. You don't have to be a war vet, but an armed services person. You need to thank them.

HARRIS: I've been thinking about my dad all day.

WHITFIELD: My dad did too.

HARRIS: He served in the Korean War, so I've been thinking about him a lot.

WHITFIELD: My dad did too. We'll have to talk about those veterans stories. My dad is still living, but he is a Korean War vet.


HARRIS: Good to see you, Fred.

WHITFIELD: Good to see you too. Much more in the "NEWSROOM" straight ahead. What's up?

HARRIS: We have something that is hot for you. We've done a little extra work and put together a little special. It is all around gas and the price of oil. As you know, it is within striking distance of $100 a barrel. We're talking about that all last week. That is a huge number. But what does it mean for you and me? That ends up being the real question here, higher gas prices to be sure, larger heating bills and even a more expensive gallon of gas. And guess what? There is no help from Washington in sight.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They are not going to affect the price at your pump. Not going to happen. And it may be a good thing.


HARRIS: We're talking about the trouble with oil. It is a special report tonight at 7:30 and again at 10:30 eastern time.

Fred, stick around and watch it. You can't go home. You've got to stay here and watch.

WHITFIELD: I will too. I'm not going anywhere. I'm going to sit here and watch.

HARRIS: All evening.

WHITFIELD: I'll be like this. HARRIS: It's a lot of great work and some great people are associated with it. We talked to Frank Sesno, a contributor here at CNN, and great, smart people; Ali Velshi as well. And some practical advice, some answers to help you make choices in your life and at your home that will help you save some dollars.

WHITFIELD: We need the help because, my gosh, nobody wants to see their electric bills or gas bills, all that stuff this winter. It's going to hurt.

HARRIS: So not just talk, some solutions.

WHITFIELD: Thanks, Tony. Appreciate it.

HARRIS: All right, Fred.

WHITFIELD: We'll be watching. OK, thanks.

All right, before anyone questions the way America treats her veterans -- back to Veterans Day again today -- listen to this.


CARL SHADRAKE, LANCE SERGEANT, BRITISH ARMY: They open their arms and let me come in for free, most places. In England, if I show my military I.D. card, they frown upon me for being a soldier.


WHITFIELD: The tale of the so-called unloved soldier. That's next in the "NEWSROOM."


WHITFIELD: Here's what's happening right now. Finnish authorities are looking into any possible connection between the 18- year-old student who shot several people and killed himself in his country and a Pennsylvania teenager. Both shared an on-line fascination with the Columbine tragedy.

Pakistan's embattled President Musharraf takes to the airways to explain more about why he declared the nation's state of emergency. He won't say when the emergency order will be lifted but he did repeat that election also be held probably in January.

And parades dot the American landscape as the nation's veterans are honored for their sacrifice and service. Unfortunately, a recent study found that a quarter of the homeless people in America are veterans.

The British honored their war dead with today's annual Remembrance Sunday services. But some younger British troops are filling the chill of unpopular wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

CNN's Paula Newton reports from London.


PAULA NEWTON, CNN NEWS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Remembrace Day, a ritual that symbolizes utter respect. But not apparently for Britain's new generation of veterans. As British soldiers continue to take bullets and bombs in Afghanistan and Iraq, the army's top commander is waging his own battle on the home front.

General Sir Richard Dannett says his soldiers deserve more praise.

RICHARD DANNATT, SIR GENERAL, HEAD OF BRITISH ARMY: He wants the people to understand what he's been doing and why. In America, by contrast, appreciation of the armed forces is nothing short of outstanding.

NEWTON: Lance Sergeant Carl Shadrake knows that first hand. He says he can't help but notice how differently he's treated in the U.S.

SHADRAKE: They open their arms and they let me come in for free most places. In England, if I show my military I.D. card, then they frown upon me for being a soldier or something.

NEWTON: Shadrake is just 23, two tours in Iraq, his latest deployment in Afghanistan, where shrapnel from a suicide bomber pierced a main artery. He nearly bled to death. Yet, he says, there's no denying it, when he knows back home people barely take notice.

SHADRAKE: It is a topic that we touch on while we're over there in theater, but there's nothing we can do to physically change that whatsoever.

NEWTON (on camera): There are some in Britain who are trying to change all that. A grassroots movement has started to award medals to those who have now served in Iraq and Afghanistan.

RICHARD KEMP, RETIRED COLONEL, BRITISH ARMY: Medals are important for morale. And it's not just the morale of the person injured, but also the morale of the soldiers who have mates still fighting in Afghanistan or Iraq, who see that his sacrifice is being recognized.

NEWTON (voice-over): Retired Colonel, Richard Kemp, a former commander of British forces in Afghanistan, is trying to create a British version of America's Purple Heart. The decoration for those wounded or killed in combat.

(on camera): How much do you think a medal like this would mean?

KEMP: It would mean a huge amount. I don't think it would mean a huge amount, I know it would because I've spoken to many of them.

NEWTON (voice-over): Besides support from family and friends, most are greeted, at best, with indifference.

The General Dannatt proposed that parades might be an idea. Most soldiers say they'll settle for just a little respect.

Paula Newton, CNN, London.


WHITFIELD: Time now for our news quiz. During World War II, Vietnam was controlled by Japan. So what nation controlled Vietnam immediately after World War II? That answer when we come right back.


WHITFIELD: All right, on this Veterans Day, we want to ask you this question. We asked during World War II, Vietnam was controlled by Japan. So the question was what nation controlled Vietnam immediately after World War II? The answer, France.

Let's talk a little entertainment news now. If all those reruns from the writers strike have left you with the rerun blues, check out this story from CNN's Jeanne Moos. She found some humor on the picket lines as well as some famous faces.


JEANNE MOOS, CNN NEWS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): An inflatable pig hugged the sidewalk in front of Time Warner as striking writers danced to their favorite chant.

Those writing about the strike gravitated to the stars who showed up to support the writers, like Roseanne Barr, David DuKovney (ph), Tim Robbins, all talking about the strike, all except this guy.

Robin Williams carried on with Richard's Belzer's dog. Then reflected back on...

ROBIN WILLIAMS, COMEDIAN: The greatest writers throughout history. Thomas Jefferson actually went out for the constitutional writers strike.

MOOS: He turned his stream of consciousness to the picket signs.

WILLIAMS: Where's the punctuation?

The signs are blank because they're on strike. And even Dubya's going, "Why's that? Yeah. Why is there no writing?"

MOOS: Life is imitating art on the picket line. We're not even writing slogans. Most performers acknowledge who puts words in their mouths.

For instance, Steven Colbert presenting at the Grammy Awards.

STEVEN COLBERT, HOST, "THE COLBERT REPORT": I am so honored to be here tonight to honor all these honorable honorees. I'm sorry, my writers are on strike. My stuff if usually better than this.

MOOS: And in his final show before the strike, Conan O'Brien presented an instructional video about what is and isn't scripted.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm a huge fan of yours.

CONAN O'BRIEN, HOST, "LATE NIGHT WITH CONAN O'BRIEN": We don't even for an idea for him. I just have him.

MOOS: David Letterman's writers expressed mock concern about missing good comic material during the walk out.

BILL SCHEFT, WRITER, "LATE NIGHT WITH DAVID LETTERMAN": We don't want to be on strike when David Hasselhoff eats something off the floor again.

MOOS: This comedian took advantage of the strike to rant against the writers on YouTube.

UNIDENTIFIED YOUTUBE COMEDIAN: It's all garbage. Writers that go on strike? I think they had been on strike for the last 20 years. You got to be kidding me.

MOOS: Written or ad libbed, you decide.

Andrew Smith is a writer on "The View."

(on camera): Has the show been worse without you?

ANDREW SMITH, WRITER, "THE VIEW": They're tongue tied. Tongue tied.

BARBARA WALTERS, CO-HOST, "THE VIEW": That piece we did in New York.



SMITH: Blabber. Gibberish comes out of their mouth.


MOOS: Send for rewrite.

Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.


WHITFIELD: All right, well, "Lou Dobbs this Week," he's coming up next. He's not on strike. First, we leave you with scenes from this morning's pretty emotional Veterans Day ceremonies at the Arlington National Cemetery, the Vietnam Veterans Wall there. All there is in the nation's capital. I'm Fredricka Whitfield.