President Joe Biden delivers remarks at Memorial Day event Sunday
Editor's note: This story has been updated.
On the eve of his first Memorial Day as commander in chief, President Joe Biden commended military service members and their families while grieving the anniversary of the death of his son Beau Biden.
Biden delivered remarks Sunday during the Memorial Day observance at War Memorial Plaza near the Delaware Memorial Bridge. The president lauded military personnel for their service and consoled grieving families who’ve lost loved ones in the line of duty.
“I know how much the loss hurts,” Biden said. “I know the black hole it leaves in the middle of your chest; it feels like you may get sucked into it and not come out.”
In 2015, Biden’s late son, Beau, a major in the Delaware Army National Guard’s Judge Advocate General Corps, died after battling brain cancer.
Biden arrived at the event wearing a dark-colored tie beneath a black jacket and vest shortly after attending a memorial Mass for his son.
“If [Beau] were here, he would be here as well, paying his respects to all those who gave so much for our country,” Biden said.
Biden thanked those Delaware veterans and military families present for their service toward the freedom of the country. He comforted the families by offering words of support and thanked them for allowing him to grieve alongside them.
“I promise you the day will come when the mention of the name of your son or daughter, husband or wife will, in fact, bring not a tear to your eye but a smile to your lips,” Biden said. “I hope that day comes sooner than later.”
Biden also described the importance of the annual Delaware event for him and his family to honor fallen service members. One of Biden's first public appearances during the pandemic last year was on Memorial Day when he laid a wreath at War Memorial Plaza alongside his wife, Jill.
Biden continued his remarks by outlining the importance of military personnel and his obligation to care for them and their families when they return home and when they don’t. He described the military community as the "solid spine of this country."
Toward the end of his speech, Biden called for unity on a day of remembrance and honor.
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“I hope that the nation comes together,” Biden said. “We’re not Democrats or Republicans today – we're Americans.”
The president came home to Delaware on Friday afternoon with his wife, Jill. Biden was also in Delaware on Tuesday to attend the wake of a longtime staffer.
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