Biden says each generation has to ‘earn’ freedom in Memorial Day remarks

27 May 2024, 17:54

Biden
Biden. Picture: PA

Mr Biden, joined by vice president Kamala Harris and defence secretary Lloyd Austin, placed a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

President Joe Biden marked Memorial Day with a pledge that the country would continue the work of the nation’s fallen towards creating a more perfect union, “for which they lived, and for which they died for”.

Delivering remarks at a solemn remembrance ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery, Mr Biden said each generation must ensure the sacrifice of the country’s service members is not in vain.

“Freedom has never been guaranteed,” Mr Biden said under grey skies in the memorial amphitheatre.

“Every generation has to earn it, fight for it, defend it in the battle between autocracy and democracy, between the greed of a few, and the rights of many.”

He added: “On this day, we came together again to reflect, to remember, and above all, to recommit to the future they fought for, a future grounded in freedom, democracy, opportunity and equality. Not just for some, but for all.”

Biden
President Joe Biden and other officials at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery (Susan Walsh/AP)

Before the ceremony began, Mr Biden, joined by vice president Kamala Harris and defence secretary Lloyd Austin, placed a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

In his remarks, Mr Biden invoked the anniversary this week of the death of his son Beau, who served in Iraq and later died from brain cancer that the president attributes to his time stationed near toxic burn pits, to highlight the importance of honouring the service of those who came home with injuries, in addition to the dead.

“Last year, the VA delivered more benefits and processed more claims than ever in our history,” Mr Biden said, crediting the Pact Act which grants automatic coverage for certain health conditions suffered by veterans by presuming they result from their military service.

“For too long after fighting for our nation, these veterans had to fight to get the right healthcare, to get the benefits they had earned, not anymore.”

Mr Biden began the day hosting a breakfast at the White House for administration officials, military leaders, veterans, and Gold Star family members.

By Press Association

Latest World News

See more Latest World News

This image provided by Tamatha Bibbo, principal of the Pollard Middle School in Needham, Massachusetts, shows 23 sets of twins who graduated from Pollard Middle School

Double take: 23 sets of twins graduate from single Massachusetts middle school

Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich waves and smiles as he stands in a glass cage in a courtroom at the First Appeals Court of General Jurisdiction in Moscow, Russia, on April 23 2024

US reporter Evan Gershkovich, held in Russia on espionage charges, to face trial

The 'Happy Days' actor shared a grinning selfie with Dublin Fire Brigade

Happy Days for The Fonz: Henry Winkler thanks firefighters after blaze at Dublin hotel

Rishi Sunak with Italian PM Giorgia Meloni

Rishi Sunak receives warm welcome at G7 summit as he reunites with Italian PM

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky walks past various international flags on arrival at the G7 in Borgo Egnazia, Italy

How will move to lend Ukraine billions backed by Russia’s frozen assets work?

G7 leaders at the summit in southern Italy

G7 summit opens with deal to use frozen Russian assets for Ukraine

A tourist fans a companion in front of the the Parthenon at the Acropolis in Athens

Heatwave forces Greek authorities to shut Acropolis in afternoon for second day

Bulgarian former prime minister Boyko Borissov, leader of the centre-right GERB party

Bulgarian ex-premier Borissov offers coalition but does not want job again

A Polish soldier patrols the border with Belarus

Poland reintroduces restrictions along Belarus border due to migration pressures

Eric Calibet smiling in a black t-shirt with his arms spread out.

Retired US cop missing on Greek island days after Michael Mosley's body found - as temperatures hit 40 degrees

Leonardo Donno, of the 5-Star Movement (centre top), is protected by other politicians during the brawl in the lower house of Italy's Parliament

Fight erupts in Italian Parliament amid tension over expanding regional autonomy

One driver had to be rescued from the floods by helicopter

Floods in Spanish tourist hotspot cause chaos, as trapped driver hauled from car by rescue workers in helicopter

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban addresses the media after receiving the results of the European Parliament elections

Top EU court fines Hungary 200m euros for flouting asylum law

US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin (left) arrives for bilateral talks on the sidelines of a Nato defence ministers' meeting in Brussels

Nato defence ministers thrash out Ukraine security aid and training support plan

Middle terrace at ruins of Ancient Kameiros, Kalavarda, Rhodes (Rodos), The Dodecanese, South Aegean Region, Greece

Rhodes hit by 4.8-magnitude earthquake as holidaymakers describe 'the whole airport shaking'

South African president Cyril Ramaphosa meets senior officials of his African National Congress party

South African parties cobble together unity government before electing president