President Biden in Memorial Day remarks Monday asked Americans not only to remember the “sacrifice” and “valor” of American military members who died in service but also their “humanity” and “precious life.”
The president lauded the United States’ fallen service members as “those who gave their all in the service of America, in the service of freedom, in the service of justice.”
“Remember their sacrifice, their valor and their grace. Remember their smiles, their loves, their laughter, their essential vibrant and transcendent humanity,” Biden added. “For while we stand amid monuments of stone, we must never forget that each of these markers, for those known and unknown, here at Arlington and far beyond, represent a precious life. A son, a daughter, a mother, a spouse, brother, a sister, a friend, a neighbor.”
Biden made the comments shortly after a wreath-laying ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery at which he was joined by Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, Vice President Kamala Harris and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley.
President Biden adjusts a the wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery on Memorial Day, Monday, May 31, 2021, in Arlington, Va. (AP)
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Biden appeared to pray over the wreath for a few moments before it was laid at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
According to the Congressional Research Service (CRS), more than 1 million American service members have died in the history of the United States, dating back to the Revolutionary War. The deadliest conflicts were the Civil War and World War II, which killed more than 400,000 Americans each.
The United States’ most recent war, the Global War on Terror, has killed more than 6,900 American service members, according to the CRS. Biden said on Monday that the exact total is now 7,036 who each “leave behind an entire community and family.”
Later in the speech, Biden warned that “democracy itself is in peril her
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