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Biden marks Memorial Day nearly 2 years after ending America’s longest war

US President Joe Biden participates in a wreath-laying ceremony on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington Nationwide Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia, on Might 29, 2023, in observance of Memorial Day. (Picture by Mandel NGAN / AFP) (Picture by MANDEL NGAN/AFP by way of Getty Photos)

Mandel Ngan | Afp | Getty Photos

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden lauded the sacrifice of generations of U.S. troops who died preventing for his or her nation as he marked Memorial Day with the normal wreath-laying ceremony at Arlington Nationwide Cemetery.

Biden was joined by first woman Jill Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris and Harris’ husband, Douglas Emhoff, for the one hundred and fifty fifth Nationwide Memorial Day Observance. He had a second of contemplation in entrance of the wreath, which was adorned with flowers and a pink, white and blue bow, after which bowed his head in prayer.

“We should always remember the value that was paid to guard our democracy,” Biden mentioned later in an tackle at Memorial Amphitheater. “We should always remember the lives these flags, flowers and marble markers symbolize.”

“Yearly we bear in mind,” he mentioned. “And yearly it by no means will get simpler.”

Monday’s federal vacation honoring America’s fallen service members got here a day after Biden and Republican Home Speaker Kevin McCarthy reached last settlement on a deal that might increase America’s debt restrict and that now awaits approval by Congress.

Because it stands, the settlement would maintain nondefense spending roughly flat within the 2024 fiscal 12 months and enhance it by 1% the next 12 months. The measure would enable for 3% protection development in fiscal 2024, to $886 billion, after which one other 1% in fiscal 2025, to $895 billion.

Biden has taken satisfaction that his Democratic administration has overseen a time of relative peace for the U.S. army after twenty years of warfare in Afghanistan and Iraq.

It has been practically 21 months since Biden ended the USA’ longest warfare in Afghanistan, making good on a marketing campaign promise to finish a 20-year-old “eternally warfare” that price the lives of greater than 2400 U.S. service members.

The warfare in Afghanistan, nevertheless, resulted in lethal and chaotic style on Biden’s watch in August 2021 with critics blasting the administration’s dealing with of the evacuation of some 120,000 Americans, Afghans and others as poorly deliberate and badly executed.

The Biden administration final month launched a evaluate of the final days of the warfare, largely blaming his Republican predecessor, President Donald Trump, and asserting that Biden was “severely constrained” by Trump’s selections.

The U.S. now finds itself main a coalition of allies pouring tens of billions of {dollars} in army and financial assist into Ukraine because it tries to repel the Russian invasion, which seems to haven’t any finish in sight.

Whereas making clear that he has no need for U.S. troops to enter the battle, Biden has maintained that he sees the Russian effort to seize territory as an affront to worldwide norms and has vowed to assist Kyiv win, sending artillery, tanks and drones and just lately agreeing to permit allies to coach Ukrainian army on American F-16 jets.

Earlier than Monday’s ceremony on the Arlington, Virginia, cemetery, the Bidens hosted a breakfast on the White Home for members of veterans organizations, army service and army household organizations, surviving households of fallen U.S. troops, senior Division of Protection officers and different administration officers.

The president and the primary woman had been scheduled to return their house close to Wilmington, Delaware, later Monday to spend the remainder of the federal vacation.