Biden: 'We Must Never Forget the Price Paid to Protect Our Democracy'

President lauds troops who 'dared all and gave all'
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 29, 2023 2:06 PM CDT
Biden Praises Troops Who 'Dared All and Gave All'
President Biden lays a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Va., on Memorial Day, Monday, May 29, 2023.   (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

President Biden lauded the sacrifice of generations of US troops who "dared all and gave all" fighting for their country and called on Americans to ensure that their "sacrifice was not in vain" as he marked Memorial Day with the traditional wreath-laying ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery. Biden was joined by first lady Jill Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris and Harris’ husband, Douglas Emhoff, for the 155th National Memorial Day Observance, the AP reports. He had a moment of contemplation in front of the wreath, which was adorned with flowers and a red, white, and blue bow, and then bowed his head in prayer.

“We must never forget the price that was paid to protect our democracy,” Biden said later in an address at the Memorial Amphitheater. "We must never forget the lives these flags, flowers, and marble markers represent," he said, adding: "Every year we remember. And every year it never gets easier." Biden connected the sacrifices of some 400,000 Americans buried at Arlington to the work of US troops deployed around the world today, saying the impact of the fallen men and women "goes far beyond those silent stones" of the solemn burial ground. During the Arlington ceremony, Biden also spoke of the need to care for US service members on and off the battlefield.

"We have only one truly sacred obligation: to prepare those we send into harm’s way and care for them and their families when they come home and when they don’t," Biden said. The president noted legislation he had signed expanding federal health care services for millions of veterans who served at military bases where toxic smoke billowed from huge burn pits, commonly used by the military until several years ago to dispose of chemicals, tires, plastics, and medical and human waste.

(Read more Memorial Day stories.)

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