ARLINGTON, Va. — In an annual tradition, soldiers from the the 1st Special Forces Command (Airborne) placed a wreath at the grave of President John F. Kennedy at Arlington National Ceremony on Wednesday.

“The challenge of this old but new form of operations is a real one, and I know that you and the members of your command will carry on for us and the free world in a manner which is both worthy and inspiring,” Kennedy wrote to Lt. Gen. William P. Yarborough — regarded as "the Father of the Green Berets — in 1961. “I am sure that the Green Beret will be a mark of distinction in the trying times ahead.”

Kennedy's message, and the decision to select the green beret as the Army Special Forces' headgear, came after an October, 1961 visit to the U.S. Army Special Warfare Center at Fort Bragg, N.C., where the president watched a display of the troops' capabilities.

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