President Joe Biden honors fallen soldiers during Memorial Day ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery

 

Dear Commons Community,

President Joe Biden honored fallen soldiers during the 156th observance of Memorial Day at Arlington National Cemetery outside the nation’s capital yesterday.

Biden placed a wreath of flowers at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in a solemn ceremony, where he was accompanied by Vice President Kamala Harris and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin.  As reported by Reuters.

“We gather at this sacred place, at this solemn moment, to remember, to honor the sacrifice of the hundreds of thousands of women and men who have given their lives for this nation,” Biden said afterward at the cemetery’s amphitheater.

Earlier in the day, Biden hosted a White House breakfast in honor of Memorial Day that included administration officials, military leadership, veterans and so-called Gold Star family members, referring to those who have lost an immediate relative in military action.

The Memorial Day ceremony is the latest in a string of events where Biden has focused on active and retired military personnel, including delivering the commencement speech on Saturday at the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, New York.

Next week, the president will travel to Normandy, France, to participate in ceremonies marking the 80th anniversary of the D-Day invasion. He is expected to give a major speech about the heroism of Allied forces in World War Two and the continuing threats to democracy today.

Thursday will mark the ninth anniversary of the death of Biden’s son Beau, who served in Iraq as part of Delaware’s National Guard. Beau died from glioblastoma, a highly aggressive form of brain cancer that his father believes was possibly a consequence of exposure to military burn pits in Iraq.

“This week marks nine years since I lost my son, Beau,” Biden said. “Our losses are not the same. He didn’t perish on the battlefield. He was a cancer victim.

“The pain of his loss is with me every day … so is the pride in his service,” the president said.

On Memorial Day, each grave site at Arlington will have a small American flag carefully positioned exactly one boot’s length away from the headstone. The flags were placed by 1,500 soldiers from the Army’s 3rd Infantry Regiment, better known as The Old Guard. The regiment has carried out the tradition, known as “Flags In,” just before Memorial Day every year since 1948, when it was designated as the Army’s official ceremonial unit.

A class act!

Tony

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