‘This is a hard day for us’: Biden honors son Beau in Memorial Day remarks on anniversary of his death

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden commended armed service members in Memorial Day remarks Sunday, calling those in uniform the “solid spine of this country.”

“As a nation, 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,” Biden said at an event at Veterans Memorial Park at the Delaware Memorial Bridge. 

Memorial Day, celebrated the last Monday of the month of May, commemorates the lives of military personnel who have died while in service. Biden, whose son, Beau, was an Iraq War combat veteran and died after battling brain cancer in 2015, referenced loss in his address.

“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, referencing his grandson, Hunter, who was seated next to him. 

President Joe Biden arrives at a Memorial Day event at Veterans Memorial Park at the Delaware Memorial Bridge in New Castle, Del., Sunday, May 30, 2021. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky) (Photo: Patrick Semansky, AP)

“I know how much the loss hurts,” Biden said. “I know the black hole it leaves in the middle of your chest; it feels like you may get sucked into it and not come out.” 

Delaware Gov. John Carney and Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del., were also present at the event. Carper led the crowd in reciting the preamble of the Constitution before Biden’s remarks.

Biden also referenced his upcoming June 16 summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin and a recent conversation with Chinese President Xi Jinping, telling those present that he’d continue to stress the importance of human rights to both leaders.

The service ended with a 21-gun salute amid light rain over the Delaware River.

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