President Joe Biden marked Memorial Day with a speech at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia that made references to the American soldiers who died in past conflicts.
“We owe the honored dead a debt we can never fully repay,” Biden said in reference to the fallen service members. “We owe them our whole souls. We owe them our full best efforts to perfect the union for which they died.”
And the president stated that the United States has to honor the sacrifices of generations of service members “by sustaining the best of America while honestly confronting all that we must do to make our nation fuller, freer and more just.”
“Empathy is the fuel of democracy,” Biden continued. “Our willingness to see each other not as enemies, neighbors, even when we disagree, to understand what the other is going through.”
The president also warned about creeping authoritarianism across the world and said the United States “was built on an idea, the only nation in the world built on an idea. Every other nation is built on ethnicity, geography, religion, etcetera. We were built on an idea, the idea of liberty, an opportunity for all.”
“Between dreams of democracy and appetites for autocracy, which we’re seeing around the world,” Biden said. “Our troops have fought this battle on fields around the world but also the battle of our time, and the mission falls to each of us each and every day.”
Biden also spoke about the death of his own son, Beau, who served in the Iraq War. Sunday marked the sixth anniversary of his death.
“Remember their sacrifice, their valor, and their grace,” Biden said of slain troops. “Remember their smiles, their loves, their laughter, their essential vibrant and transcendent humanity.”
Biden said that “to those who mourn a loved one today, Jill and I have some idea how you’re feeling. Our losses are not the same, but that black hole you feel in your chest, as if it’s going to suck you into it, we get.”
At one point, he also pulled out a card from his pocket and noted the number of soldiers who died during the Afghanistan and Iraq wars.
“Seven-thousand and thirty-six fallen angels who have lost their lives to these conflicts,” Biden said. “Duty, honor, and country—they lived for it, they died for it, and we as a nation are eternally grateful.”
From The Epoch Times