WASHINGTON—President Biden honored American military service members who died in the line of duty, using a Memorial Day address to call for a defense of democracy in the U.S. and around the globe.
“Democracy must be defended at all costs. For democracy makes this all possible,” Mr. Biden said Monday at an amphitheater in Arlington National Cemetery. “Democracy. That’s the soul of America. And I believe it’s a soul worth fighting for, and so do you, a soul worth dying for.”
Mr. Biden’s comments followed remarks he made earlier in the weekend, when he called voting measures in Texas, Florida and Georgia “an assault on democracy.”
Republican-backed bills with voting restrictions in several states have become a battleground between the GOP and Democrats recently. Texas Democrats walked out of the state House on Sunday to impede passage of a measure with voting restrictions.
Republicans say the laws protect election security and prevent fraud while Democrats say they restrict access to polls, including among minorities.
Speaking after a wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Mr. Biden said the nation’s soul was “animated by the perennial battle between our worst instincts, which we’ve seen of late, and our better angels. Between ‘me first’ and ‘We the people.’ ”
“The mission falls to each of us, each and every day. Democracy itself is in peril here at home and around the world,” Mr. Biden said. “What we do now, how we honor the memory of the fallen, will determine whether democracy will endure.”
Mr. Biden is preparing to take his first overseas trip as president next month. He will join with other world leaders for the G-7 meetings, along with gatherings from NATO countries and the European Union. At the end of his trip, Mr. Biden will hold a summit in Switzerland with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
During a speech Sunday marking the holiday near his hometown of Wilmington, Del., Mr. Biden said he would make a case for human rights when he met with Mr. Putin.
Mr. Biden was joined at the Memorial Day services by Vice President
and Gen. Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Write to Ken Thomas at email@example.com
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Appeared in the June 1, 2021, print edition as ‘President Honors Fallen Service Members on Memorial Day.’
Source: WSJ – US News