Biden to lay wreath at Tomb of the Unknown Solider

​President Biden will lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier Monday morning as he marks his first Memorial Day ceremony as commander-in-chief.​

Biden will be accompanied to Arlington National Cemetery by first lady Jill Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, her husband Doug Emhoff, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley, the White House said in a statement.

The president, Austin and Milley will also deliver remarks during the 153rd Memorial Day observance at the national military cemetery outside Washington, DC. 

Biden will attend the traditional wreath-laying ceremony after returning to the capital from his home in Delaware where he spent much of the holiday weekend and where he addressed a memorial service on Sunday in New Castle, honoring the men and women who have fallen in service to the country. 

Biden also marked the sixth anniversary of the death of his son, Beau, an Iraq War veteran. 

Then-Vice President Joe Biden talks with his son, U.S. Army Capt. Beau Biden in 2009.
President Biden marked the anniversary of the death of his son Beau, an Iraq War veteran.
AFP via Getty Images

Speaking of the Americans who made the “ultimate sacrifice,” Biden said: “We must always remember — always remember. We must remember the price that was paid for our liberties. We must remember the debt we owe those who have paid it, and the families left behind. My heart is torn in half by the grief. The communities were never whole again​.”

Then he talked about Beau, who died on May 30, 2015, from brain cancer.

​​”​Folks, it’s also an important tradition in our family.  As many of you know, this is a hard day for us. Six years ago today, Hunter lost his dad and I lost my son​,” Biden said, referring to his grandson and Beau’s son, Hunter. ​

Arlington National Cemetery.
President Biden will attend the traditional wreath-laying ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery.
Getty Images

Hours before the ceremony, Biden and the first lady visited Beau’s gravesite near St. Joseph on the Brandywine after they attended church. 

The solemn observance of Memorial Day for the Bidens contrasted with the criticism that surrounded the vice president’s Saturday tweet to “enjoy the long weekend” without mentioning America’s fallen on Saturday.

One user responded: “I’ve never been able to ‘enjoy” Memorial Day. It became that much harder when I lost my son fighting for this country. Thanks anyway Madam Vice President.”

President Joe Biden attends an annual Memorial Day Service.
“We must remember the price that was paid for our liberties,” President Biden said during his speech Sunday.

Rep. Lee Zeldin, a Republican from Long Island, finished the veep’s sentence: “…and pay tribute to the courageous men and women of our nation’s military who sacrificed their lives in defense of our freedoms and liberties​.​”

On Sunday, Harris tried to correct the record ​by posting a more fitting tribute to the country’s military.

“Throughout our history our service men and women have risked everything to defend our freedoms and our country,” she said in the new posting. “As we prepare to honor them on Memorial Day, we remember their service and their sacrifice.”

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