President Joe Biden continued the long-standing tradition of honoring veterans on Veterans Day at Arlington National Cemetery this Saturday. However, what stood out during this solemn ceremony was an unexpected moment that unfolded as the 80-year-old politician approached the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
Traditionally tasked with laying a wreath, President Biden seemed momentarily disoriented and lost as he approached the memorial. To the surprise of onlookers, one of the honor guards extended a guiding arm, providing the necessary directions to ensure the wreath was placed appropriately.
Despite this brief moment, President Biden proceeded to deliver a poignant speech at the Memorial Amphitheater as part of the Veterans Day observance. In his address, he emphasized the enduring role of American veterans in safeguarding liberty, holding a lantern of hope even in the face of darkness.
“Our veterans are the steel spine of this nation, and their families, like so many of you, are the courageous heart,” Biden remarked. He drew attention to the struggles many veterans face upon returning home, alluding to the lasting impact of exposure to harmful substances during their service.
Personalizing the tribute, President Biden shared memories of his son, Beau Biden, who succumbed to brain cancer believed to be linked to his service in Iraq. Reflecting on Beau’s military achievements, the President expressed the deep sense of pride he felt during key moments in his son’s military career.
“On this day, I can still see my son, Attorney General of Delaware, standing ramrod straight as I pinned his bars on him the day he joined the Army and National Guard in Delaware,” Biden shared. “I can still feel the overwhelming pride of Major Beau Biden receiving the Bronze Star, the Legion of Merit, and the Delaware Conspicuous Service Cross. We miss him.”
President Biden’s speech concluded with a call to action, urging everyone to consider how they can contribute to preserving the “light of liberty.” He encouraged collective reflection on what must be done to ensure that this symbolic light, passed down by previous generations, continues to burn brightly in the face of challenges.
In this poignant tribute on Veterans Day 2023, President Biden’s unexpected moment of assistance served as a reminder of the humanness of leadership, even as he continued to honor the sacrifices made by the nation’s veterans.