President Trump invited several decorated veterans to the White House on Friday to celebrate Medal of Honor Day.

The holiday, which has been only irregularly recognized over the past several years, honors veterans who are Medal of Honor recipients.

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"You are the soul of a nation and a grateful republic salutes you," Trump said. "Each of you has risen above the call of duty in defense of our country, our people and our flag."

About 25 honorees were in attendance in the Oval Office with Trump.

The president said it was a "great honor" to share the room with the "very brave" honorees.

Medal of Honor Day was formalized by Congress in 1990, and officially celebrated once the year thereafter on March 25, the date in 1863 that Civil War veterans were first awarded the honors.

President Obama visited the Arlington National Cemetery in 2009 on Medal of Honor Day, but the holiday has otherwise rarely been formally observed.

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