Joe Biden observes Memorial Day weekend in a very personal way.
President Joe Biden paid honor to those who have perished while remembering his late son Beau, a warrior who died six years ago today, on his first Memorial Day weekend as commander in chief.
Mr Biden made his yearly appearance at the commemoration in New Castle, Delaware, a day before he planned to do the same at Arlington National Cemetery on the formal observance, despite the freezing rain.
For the elder Biden, the death of his son from brain cancer at the age of 46 is ever-present, defining so much of his worldview, dotting his speeches, and driving his empathy for others in sorrow.
The president spoke regularly and deeply about his own loss while expressing the gratitude of a nation for the sacrifices of others during Memorial Day weekend, which has long been a special time for him.
Mr Biden addressed a crowd of Gold Star military families and other veterans at a ceremony at War Memorial Plaza in the shadow of the Delaware Memorial Bridge. “I can’t thank you enough for your continuous devotion for the country,” he said.
“I understand how painful it is to lose a loved one.
Mr. Biden said of those who served in the military, “They’re the guardians of us, and we’re the guardians of their heritage.”
“Despite the sadness, I understand your pride in the loved one you’ve lost.”
The bitter wind blasted the rain onto the guests as they watched a lone military trumpeter play taps at a memorial to Delaware’s fallen servicemen, despite the presence of a tent overhead.
Mr Biden appeared unconcerned about the chill, remaining for the full 75-minute event and mouthing the words to God Bless America’s final iteration.
He saluted the wreath placed at the memorial when the time came.
Mr. Biden had been a regular attendee of the ceremony for decades, and it was during last year’s event that he made his debut appearance. (This is a brief piece.)