United States President Joe Biden participated in a ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery to mark Veterans Day on Nov. 11, honoring veterans as the “very spine of America.”
“Our veterans represent the best of America. You are the very spine of America, not just the backbone. You’re the spine of this country. And all of us owe you,” Biden said in remarks.
Biden told a crowd of over 600 people that veterans “have endured and survived challenges most Americans will never know.”
“Each understood the price of freedom, and each shouldered that burden on our behalf,” Biden said.
Biden said that his administration was working to ensure veterans receive “world-class benefits” and to have their specific individual needs met, including mental health support and providing care for those exposed to burn pits.
Earlier on Nov. 11, the White House said in a fact sheet that the Build Back Better Act includes investments for veterans and their families, such as expanding affordable healthcare.
During his speech, Biden honored three veterans who died in recent weeks — General Colin Powell, General Ray Odierno, and Senator Max Cleland — whose stories he said “inspire generation after generation of Americans to step forward to defend our nation.”
Biden also recalled his late son Beau’s deployment to Iraq, telling the audience that he and First Lady Jill “learned what it meant to pray every day for the safe return of someone you love.”
From his schedule pulled from his jacket pocket, Biden read that 53,323 service members have been wounded in the conflicts of Iraq and Afghanistan and 7,074 died.
“On Veterans Day, we have to always remember that there’s nothing low-risk or low-cost about war for the women and men who fight it,” Biden said.
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