Observing the National Memorial Day, President Joe Biden visited the Delaware Memorial Bridge in New Castle on Sunday. He spoke at the annual memorial service, hosted by the Delaware Commission of Veterans Affairs.
While addressing the service, Biden talked about his son, Beau, who served in the Delaware Army National Guard in Iraq. Six years ago, Beau died on this date of brain cancer.
"A lot of time passes, but you all know, better than I do or as well as I do, that the moment that we celebrate it is the toughest day of the year. We're honoured, but it's a tough day that brings back everything."
President Biden said. "That's why I can't thank you enough for your continued service to the country and your sons, your daughters, they live on in your hearts and in their children as well. And we have to carry on without them, but I know how hard it is for you."
During his speech, Biden revealed that he carries a card with him every day, and written on it is the number of American service members killed in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. He said he started doing this when he served as vice president under Barack Obama.
Today, the number reads 7,036. "It's not an approximation," Biden affirmed.
Although one may have many obligations to the nation, the truly sacred obligation lies in equipping "those that we send into harm's way with all they need and care for them and their families when they return home, and when they don't," Biden argued.
The President ended his speech, urging Americans to unify shedding all their divisions.
"So, I hope that the nation comes together. We are not Democrats or Republicans today; we are Americans. It's time to remind everyone who we are."
National Memorial Day, observed on the last Monday of May, commemorates people who died in U.S. military service. Memorial Day officially became a federal holiday in 1971, but its roots go back to the Civil War.