Biden commemorates Veterans Day at Arlington National Cemetery

President BidenJoe BidenJudge Rejects Trump’s Request to Delay Release of Jan.6 Papers Amid Appeal On Money: Biden’s Battle with Inflation Night Defense and National Security: Russia Concerns Increase MORE paid tribute to the nation’s veterans Thursday, praising them as America’s “backbone” in a speech at the Arlington National Ceremony to mark Veterans Day.

“Each of our veterans is a link in a proud chain of patriots who have stood up in the defense of our country from Bunker Hill to Belleau Wood, Gettysburg to Iwo Jima, Chosin Reservoir and the Kunar Valley,” Biden said in a speech at the National Veterans Day Observance at the cemetery outside of Washington.

“Everyone understood the price of freedom and each one carried that burden on our behalf. Veterans represent the best of America. You are the backbone of America, not just the backbone, you are the backbone of this country and all of us, all of us, owe you, ”he said.

Biden’s remarks were personal, as he reflected on the recent loss of the former secretary of state. Colin PowellColin Powell Overnight National Security & Defense – Washington gathers for Colin Powell’s funeral Son pays emotional tribute to Colin Powell at service 12:30 pm The Hill Report: House Democrats push for vote on infrastructure bill MORE, General Ray Odierno and Georgia Senator Max Cleland (D), all veterans. He also invoked his late son, Beau Biden, who served in the Delaware Army National Guard.

As he usually does to mark lives lost due to war or the coronavirus pandemic, Biden pulled his diary from his jacket pocket and read that 53,323 service members have been injured in the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan and 7,074 died.

“These are the cost of war that we will bear as a nation for decades to come,” he said.

Biden said his administration is committed to working with Congress to ensure veterans receive the “world-class benefits” they deserve, from care for exposure to burn pits and Agent Orange to support for mental health.

The White House released a plan Thursday to help military members exposed to pollutants and environmental hazards on the battlefield as part of an effort to mark the holiday. Earlier this month, the White House announced a new plan to prevent firearm suicides with a focus on the military and veterans.

Thursday was the first time Biden celebrated Veterans Day as president. The White House’s public hours were light due to the federal holiday, with a handful of events in the morning to honor those who have served the nation.

Biden welcomed veterans and service members to the White House on Thursday morning, before attending a wreath-laying ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery to mark the centennial of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

During the grim ceremony, Biden advanced to the grave, bowed his head in front of the crown, made the sign of the cross, and stepped back to stand with the Secretary of Veterans Affairs. Denis McDonoughDenis Richard McDonough The Hill’s Morning Report – Presented by Facebook – Republican Party struck coup in 2022, watches Trump-era issues Defense and national security overnight – Pentagon works to evacuate families of US troops Defense and Homeland Security Overnight – Presented By Raytheon Technologies – Eye of House Legislators Military Pay Increase Next Year MORE. Biden saluted and McDonough put his hand over his heart as the military band played bums. They then bowed their heads in silence for about a minute.

First woman Jill bidenJill Biden The Hill’s Morning Report – Presented by Facebook – The Republican Party Dealt a Coup in 2022, Observe the Trump-Era Troubles Biden touts the agenda as he celebrates the Milwaukee Bucks at the White House 12:30 PM Report The Hill: Democrats await CBO score for social spending bill MORE and several other members of the cabinet were present, including the Defense Sec. Lloyd AustinLloyd Austin The Hill’s Morning Report – Presented By Facebook – GOP Strike In 2022, Looks At Trump-Era Troubles As GOP Delves Into Blocking Biden Defense & Homeland Security Diplomatic Pick Overnight – Washington gathers for Colin Powell’s funeral MORE, National Security Sec. Alejandro MayorkasAlejandro MayorkasDHS streamlining process for Afghan evacuees relocating to the US Amtrak chief describes expansion plans with Hillicon Valley infrastructure spending: TSA cyber mandates reduce pushback MORE, Sec of Commerce. Gina raimondoGina RaimondoBiden’s Next Challenge: Sell the Infrastructure Bill 12:30 PM Report from The Hill: What Sununu’s NH Senate Decision Means for Midterm Elections Watch Live: White House Spokesperson, Secretary of Commerce informs reporters MORE, Labor Sec. Marty walshMarty WalshWhite House Faces Avalanche of Vaccine Rule Challenges Biden Administration, Stakeholders to Host Interagency Event on Economic Equity Michelle Wu Chosen as First Mayor of Boston MORE, Sec of energy. Jennifer granholmJennifer GranholmPavlich: Biden’s Self-Inflicted Energy Crisis Winter Challenges Looming for Biden’s White House The Hill’s Morning Report – Presented by Facebook – Did Democrats Misunderstand Voters’ Call for 2020 Change? PLUS and secretary of state Antony blinkAntony BlinkenNight Defense & National Security: US Concerns Rise Over Russia Concerned Russia Will Try To “ Repeat ” Invasion Of Ukraine In 2014, Says Blinken, Senior Diplomat, Pentagon Says US Closely Observes Buildup from Russia on the border of Ukraine MORE.

The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier was opened for two days, Tuesday and Wednesday, for the first time in 96 years for the public to come up and lay flowers. During Thursday’s ceremony, the grave was surrounded by flowers.

The tomb is a symbolic grave for unidentified and unlocated American soldiers and was first used in 1921 after Congress approved the burial of an unidentified WWI service member.

Vice President Harris, who is abroad in Paris, laid a wreath at the Suresnes American Cemetery on Wednesday and participated in an armistice day ceremony Thursday.

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