Politics

President Biden attends wreath-laying ceremony in tribute to fallen soldiers on Veterans Day

President Joe Biden paid tribute to veterans by attending a wreath-laying ceremony on Veterans Day.

One hundred years after the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery was christened, the president visited to honor the soldiers who have served the U.S. Biden said that being in the presence of so many Medal of Honor recipients was the single greatest honor of his presidency. He also honored his late son, Beau, who was a veteran.

The president made mention of three other veterans who recently passed. He spoke of former Secretary of State Colin Powell, former Georgia Secretary of State Max Cleland and former Army chief of staff Ray Odierno. Biden said that these men were inspiration for the future generations to enlist. He also said that to be a veteran was to wear “a badge of courage that unites across all ages, regardless of background.”

In his speech, Biden said, “All our veterans past and present, we thank you. We honor you. And we remember always what you’ve done for us. … You veterans are the soul of America, America’s soul. It’s why our veterans have always fought, always been willing to put themselves on the line.” There were about 650 people present for the ceremony.

The same day, Biden announced that the federal government would make stronger efforts towards identifying and treating health issues suffered by veterans as a result of the toxic environments they may have served in.

In addition, he spoke on how many soldiers return home with “unseen psychological wounds”. His administration is seeking to expand access to health services and benefits for veterans. They will begin by examining lung and breathing issues.

The White House released a statement regarding this effort. “Taken together, these actions will improve our understanding of the health effects of military-related exposures, educate providers and veterans about these exposures, and provide timelier access to health services and benefits for individuals who were exposed. The Administration will continue to prioritize efforts to support veterans who were exposed to environmental hazards during their military service.”

Biden said he suspects his son Beau’s brain cancer, which was his cause of death, may have been a result of exposure to burn pits in Iraq.

ARTICLE: RITA VOGT

MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE

PHOTO CREDITS: STAMFORD ADVOCATE

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