WASHINGTON -- Britain's Prince Harry saluted America's war dead in sombre remembrance at Arlington National Cemetery on Friday, pausing, too, to place flowers on the tombstone of former U.S. president John F. Kennedy and visit the grave of a British Second World War hero buried far from home.
There were none of the shrieking throngs that greeted his arrival Thursday on Capitol Hill at the opening of his week-long U.S. visit, only solemn reflection at gravesites and time-honoured ceremony attended by hundreds at the Tomb of the Unknowns.
Harry, a British army captain who has served twice in Afghanistan, capped the Washington portion of his trip with a visit to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, seeing the latest prosthetic technology and chatting with wounded warriors. From there, it was on to Colorado Springs, Colo., for the 2013 Warrior Games. He's to spend today at the games, where more than 200 American and British veterans wounded in service are competing.
His two-day official visit in Washington was in no way like his decidedly unofficial romp in Las Vegas last summer, when embarrassing photos leaked of a prince partying naked in a game of strip billiards. Harry's itinerary is focused on his military ties and charitable works, and it got off to a crisply professional start.
Amid the rows of headstones at Arlington, the prince laid a wreath at the grave of soldier Michael L. Stansbery Jr., 21, of Mount Juliet, Tenn. He left a note reading: "To my comrades-in-arms of the United States of America, who have paid the ultimate sacrifice in the cause of freedom. Captain Harry Wales." Stansbery, a Bronze Star and Purple Heart recipient, was killed July 30, 2010, by an improvised explosive device while on foot patrol in Afghanistan. His grave was chosen randomly for the prince's honour, among thousands marking the resting places of the fallen from the Afghanistan and Iraq wars.
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.
-- The Associated Press