WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden promised to “in no way fail to honour the sacrifice” of the American defence force in Memorial Day remarks Monday.
“We’re free because they had been brave. Here on those gentlemen rolling over green hills and within America and around the world lie buried the heroes of the finest test the world has ever known, ever seen,” Biden said at Arlington National Cemetery.
Biden referenced the loss his family experienced after the demise of his son Beau, an Iraq War veteran, from brain cancer in 2015.
“Our losses are not the same. However, that black hole you sense in your chest that you may fall in, we understand,” the president said.
Biden mentioned that “war and conflict, death and loss aren’t relics of American history: they’re a part of the American story,” bringing up fallen troops from the Civil War to wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
“Today, that number is 7,036 – 7,036 fallen angels who lost their lives in those conflicts. And on this Memorial Day, we honors their legacy and their sacrifice,” Biden said. “They lived for it. They died for it. And we as a country are forever grateful.”
Biden also counselled towards autocracy.
“Democracy itself is in peril, right here at home and around the world. What we do now, how we honour the memory of the fallen, will decide whether or not democracy will long endure.”
The president declared that “empathy is the fuel of democracy,” and he referred to as Americans to “discover the light and the knowledge and, yes, the braveness to move forward” as a country.
Before the president’s comments, senior army leaders and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin also spoke, honouring the ones now serving as well as fallen troops. Vice President Kamala Harris, first woman Jill Biden and second gentleman Doug Emhoff also have been there.