Biden Honors America’s Fallen Soldiers in Memorial Day Address

President Joe Biden paid tribute to fallen soldiers and stressed the need to protect democracy on Memorial Day as former President Donald Trump denounced those he says are trying to destroy the country.

President Joe Biden on May 27 paid tribute to fallen U.S. service members during his Memorial Day speech at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia, stating that they had “fought for a future grounded in freedom, democracy, opportunity, and equality.”

“We gathered at this sacred place, at this solemn moment, to remember and honor the sacrifice of the hundreds of thousands of women and men who have given their lives to this nation,” he said to begin his remarks.

“Each one bound by common commitment, not to a place, not to a person, not to a president, but to an idea, unlike any idea in human history, the idea of the United States of America.”

The first national observance of Memorial Day—initially referred to as Decoration Day—was in 1868 to honor Union and Confederate soldiers who had died during the Civil War, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs. After World War I, the holiday was expanded to commemorate all those who died in military service.

More than 1 million U.S. men and women have died while serving in the military since the Civil War began in 1861. The Civil War had the highest number of U.S. casualties of any war, with at least 500,000 killed, according to U.S. Census Bureau estimates.

During his remarks, President Biden also made veiled criticisms of his rival, former President Donald Trump, as he has done in recent days.

“Our democracy is more than just a system of government. It’s the very soul of America. It’s how we’ve been able to constantly adapt to the centuries,” the president said.

“And just as our fallen heroes have kept the ultimate faith with our country and our democracy, we must keep faith with them.”

President Biden also remembered his son Beau, a veteran and former federal prosecutor, who died of cancer in 2015.

“This week marks nine years since I lost my son, Beau. … He didn’t perish on the battlefield. He was a cancer victim from a consequence of being in the Army in Iraq for a year next to a burn pit,” he said.

President Biden and his campaign recently have stepped up their efforts to win veterans who traditionally back Republicans.

“Since I took office, I’ve signed over 30 bipartisan laws supporting servicemen, veterans, and their families, caregivers, and survivors,” the president said at the ceremony.

He opened a series of events last week that focus on veterans and military members. On May 21, he delivered a speech in New Hampshire, marking a milestone for the PACT Act, a bipartisan law that he signed two years ago to expand health care and benefits for veterans exposed to burn pits and other toxic substances.

The president announced that the Department of Veterans Affairs has already approved more than 1 million claims under the PACT Act.

President Biden also delivered a commencement address on May 25 at the U.S. Military Academy’s graduation ceremony at West Point in upstate New York. The president delivered the address to nearly 1,000 cadets graduating from the 222-year-old academy who have joined the ranks of the U.S. Army as officers.

He urged graduates to hold fast to the values that they learned at West Point and, most importantly, their oath.

“On your very first day at West Point, you raised your right hands and took an oath—not to a political party, not to a president, but to the Constitution of the United States of America—against all enemies, foreign and domestic,” President Biden said.

NTD Photo
President Joe Biden (L), Vice President Kamala Harris (2nd L),  and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin (3rd L) attend a wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Va., on May 27, 2024. (Mandela Ngan/AFP)

The 156th National Memorial Day Observance ceremony began with a traditional wreath-laying. President Biden was accompanied by Vice President Kamala Harris and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin.

“Our arms and technology are the envy of the world. But in the end, America’s greatest strategic asset will always be our people,” Mr. Austin said during a speech at the ceremony.

“So, let us always remember our fallen heroes. Let us always strive to defend the democracy for which they fought and died.”

From The Epoch Times

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