Biden pays tribute to late son Beau and the Americans who died so ‘that our nation might live’ in Memorial Day address 21 months after withdrawing troops from Afghanistan
President Biden laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery and paid tribute to service members and veterans including his late son Beau in his Memorial Day address.
The commander-in-chief was joined by Vice President Kamala Harris and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin as honored the Americans who made the ultimate sacrifice.
He laid the flowers, made the sign of a cross and then saluted as the military band played the Star-Spangled Banner for the 155th National Memorial Day Observance.
‘Our service members have always embodied the highest expectations of our democracy,’ Biden said in his speech nearly 21 months after he withdrew troops from Afghanistan.
‘Once again stand amid the rows and rows of stones that bear witness to the brave women and men who served and sacrificed for our freedom and for our future, those who died’ Biden said, ‘so that our nation might live’.
President Biden lays a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery in honor of Memorial Day
‘It’s why we’ve always emerged from every challenge we’ve faced stronger than when we entered it.
‘We’ll never be able to repay the debt we owe them.
‘But today, we rededicate ourselves to the work for which they gave their lives, and we recommit to supporting the loved ones they left behind’.
He honored his son Beau, the day before the eighth anniversary of his death from brain cancer after Iraq.
Beau was a Major in the Army, and Biden has linked his death to exposure to toxic burn pits during his deployment.
Biden also paid his respects the families who get a knock on the door to say their loved ones won’t be coming home from the battlefield.
‘Every year we remember, and every year it never gets easier,’ he told the 3,000 members of the audience in his Memorial Day address.
‘Today we once again gather in this sacred place at this solemn hour’.
He touted the bills that help veterans get better access to care, including the PACT Act for service members exposed to toxic burn pits.
At one point he pointed out a young girl who he gave a pen to at the bill signing last year.
Her father, Keith Robinson, is believed to have died from exposure to burn pits.
He finished by saying: ‘We are the only nation in the world built on an idea… that we are all created equal
‘We haven’t always lived up to it but we have never walked away from it… to all those who gave their life for that mission we can say we never will.’
He laid the flowers, made the sign of a cross and then saluted as the military band played the Star-Spangled Banner
Biden, Kamala Harris and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin take part in the wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery
Biden paid tribute to his son Beau, a day before the eighth anniversary of his death from cancer
Ching Wagoner, of Roanoke, Virginia visits the grave of her son U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Aiden Flores Wagoner
Eugene and Linda Lamie, of Homerville, Georgia, sit by the grave of their son U.S. Army Sgt. Gene Lamie