Patrick Semansky / AP
President Biden visited the Delaware Memorial Bridge in New Castle on Sunday where he spoke on Memorial Day. The annual memorial service, hosted by the Delaware Veterans Commission, is frequently attended by Biden.
Memorial Day, observed on the last Monday in May, commemorates those who died in US military service.
When he spoke on Sunday, Biden spoke of his son, Beau, who served in the Delaware Army National Guard. His unit was activated and he deployed to Iraq in October 2008. Beau Biden died exactly six years ago on Sunday from brain cancer.
“A lot of time goes by, but you all know, better than I or as well as I do, that the time we celebrate is the most difficult day of the year. We are honored, but it is a difficult day that bring support all, “said President Biden.” That is why I cannot thank you enough for your continued service to the country and your sons, your daughters, they live in your hearts and in their children too. And we have to go on without them, but I know how hard it is for you. “
Biden said the founding ideals of the United States were worth fighting and dying.
“We may have many obligations to the nation, but we have only one truly sacred obligation, which is to equip those we send in danger with everything they need and to take care of them. and their families when they get home and when they don’t, ”Biden said. “And all of us who remain have a duty to renew our commitment to the core values of our nation in their honor, the values that have inspired generation after generation to serve and that so many have died to defend.”
Memorial Day officially became a federal holiday in 1971, but its roots go back to the Civil War.
In the late 1860s, Americans began a springtime tradition of honoring the dead by decorating gravestones with flowers and reciting prayers, originally known as Decoration Day.
Biden said during his speech that he carried a card with him every day, and on it, the number of US servicemen killed in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. He said he started doing it when he was vice president under Barack Obama. Today it reads 7,036. “This is not an approximation,” Biden said.
There are currently 155 national cemeteries in 42 states and Puerto Rico, managed and maintained by the National Cemeteries Administration of the Department of Veterans Affairs. This does not include state-run veterans cemeteries. The men and women buried at these sacred sites are the backbone of the United States, Biden said.
“These names on this wall and all the other walls and tombstones in Veterans America are the reason we’re able to stand here. We can’t kid ourselves about it,” he said. “So I hope the nation comes together. We’re not Democrats or Republicans today; we’re Americans. It’s time to remind everyone who we are.”