Americans commemorate Memorial Day

WASHINGTON, D.C. (CNN) – Americans across the country are taking time to commemorate men and women in uniform who paid the ultimate sacrifice.

Speaking on his first Memorial Day as president, Joe Biden encouraged all Americans to fight for democracy

President Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin spent the morning at Arlington National Cemetery, laying a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

“We’re gathered at this sacred place in this solemn hour to engage in the most fundamental of undertakings: the right of remembrance,” Biden said.

The president touched on this day impacting families across the country including his own. Sunday marked the 6th anniversary of the death of his son, Beau, an Iraq War veteran. He said,” I always feel Beau close to me on Memorial Day.”

With Congress failing last week to create a bipartisan commission investigating the January 6th insurrection and many Republicans continuing to question the results of the presidential election, Biden warned that Democracy itself is in peril.

“How we honor the memory of the fallen will determine whether or not democracy will long endure,” he said.

And, as he has many times during his presidency, he called for unity on this solemn day: “We must honor their sacrifice, by sustaining the best in America, while honestly confronting all that we must do to make our nation fuller, freer, and more just.”

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