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President Joe Biden honored Memorial Day at Arlington National Cemetery, where he emphasized the importance of democracy and thanked those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for their country. He acknowledged the ongoing battle between autocracy and democracy and stressed that freedom must be defended in each generation. Biden expressed gratitude to veterans, survivors, and family members for their service and sacrifices, recognizing the links in the chain of honor that stretch back to the nation’s founding days.

Reflecting on the personal nature of Memorial Day, Biden shared the story of his late son, Beau Biden, who passed away as a result of brain cancer likely linked to exposure to toxic burn pits during his service in Iraq. The president emphasized the pride he feels for Beau’s service and the obligation the nation has to care for those who serve and their families. He highlighted the bipartisan PACT Act, which expands healthcare benefits for veterans exposed to burn pits, as a step towards fulfilling this sacred obligation to those who have served.

During his address, Biden also underscored his administration’s commitment to supporting veterans and their families through various legislation. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin spoke about America’s greatest strategic asset being its people and emphasized the duty to defend the democracy for which fallen heroes fought and died. The president participated in a wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and attended a breakfast honoring Memorial Day with military leadership, veterans, and Gold Star families.

Biden recently delivered the commencement address at West Point, where he emphasized the role of the United States as the world’s leading democracy. He stressed the obligation of each generation to defend and protect democracy. The president is also preparing to travel to Normandy, France, to mark the 80th anniversary of D-Day, honoring the service members who played a crucial role in liberating Europe during World War II. The speech at Arlington National Cemetery comes as Biden gears up for a busy period of campaigning ahead of the November election.

In contrast to Biden’s focus on honoring fallen heroes, former President Donald Trump marked Memorial Day with a social media post attacking his adversaries. Trump’s post on Truth Social criticized individuals involved in various legal cases against him, displaying a different tone compared to the solemn commemoration of Memorial Day. As Biden and Trump both engage in public appearances and online communications, the upcoming months leading to the election are expected to be filled with political activity and competing messaging about the future of the country.

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