The president of United States, Joe Biden, this year set a different tone on Memorial Day that is celebrated this Monday in the country, with a speech in which he defended honoring the deceased soldiers, in the face of the slights of his predecessor Donald Trump to the Forces Armed.
In a speech at the National Cemetery of Arlington on the outskirts of Washington DC, Biden affirmed that the way in which the memory of the fallen is honored “it will determine whether democracy lasts for a long time”.
“I want to guarantee each of these families that we will never forget what they have given to our country”, pointed Biden, who recalled that to date 7,036 US soldiers have lost their lives in Iraq and Afghanistan.
“Women and men, all those we honor today, gave their lives for their country,” he stressed, “but they will live forever in our hearts, always proud, always honorable, always Americans.”
Biden followed with a defense of the democracy and its institutions. In that sense, he made an allegation in favor of the right to vote and a free press “based on facts and not on propaganda.”
And he called for the unity of all Americans: “Empathy is the fuel of democracy, our willingness to see each other not as enemies, but as neighbors even if we disagree.”
This tone contrasts with that of Trump (2017-2021), who encouraged divisions in the country and who starred in disagreements with the Armed Forces.
Last September, the former president starred in a controversy after The Atlantic magazine published that in 2018 he called the Americans who died in World War I “losers” and “failures”, and assured that he does not understand what the citizens of his country gain. country when going to fight abroad.
According to that article, in May 2017 on Memorial Day Trump visited Arlington Cemetery, along with his then Secretary of Homeland Security, General John Kelly, whose son Robert was killed in combat in Afghanistan.
In front of Robert’s grave, Trump turned to John Kelly and said, according to the publication: “I don’t get it. What did they get out of this?”
The allegations made by the magazine were denied by the White House at the time.
Biden, on the other hand, sought complicity with the soldiers on Monday when he recalled that his son Beau, who died five years ago of brain cancer at the age of 46, was an Army veteran.
“Yesterday was the anniversary, it is a difficult time to be here with my family, as for many of you,” said the president, who assured that he knows what it is to be there honoring a deceased relative, a “fallen hero”.
But he wanted to send a message of hope, predicting that “the day will come when the image of your loved ones brings a smile to your lips, rather than a tear to your eyes”.
His speech on Monday was more aimed at national consumption after yesterday he delivered another speech on the occasion of Memorial Day in Wilmington (Delaware), where he has his private residence, in which he announced that he will ask Russian President Vladimir Putin to respect human rights when they meet on June 16 in Geneva.
Before delivering Monday’s speech, Biden participated with Vice President Kamala Harris and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin in a tribute at the Tomb to the Unknown Soldier in Arlington, where the president posed in front of a wreath of flowers and crossed himself.
Melissa Galbraith is the World News reporter for Globe Live Media. She covers all the major events happening around the World. From Europe to Americas, from Asia to Antarctica, Melissa covers it all. Never miss another Major World Event by bookmarking her author page right here.