President Joe Biden spoke Sunday morning of the “idea” of the United States of America at the annual Delaware Commission of Veterans Affairs Memorial Day ceremony.
The ceremony is held at the War Memorial Plaza overlooking the Delaware Memorial Bridge in the New Castle area.
The event was by invitation only. In attendance were members of Delaware’s congressional delegation, state officials, and veterans.
As he has said in previous speeches, Biden noted in his brief remarks that he keeps a record on hand of lives lost in America’s wars and conflicts.
He also remembered his late son Beau, who served in Iraq as a member of the Delaware National Guard. His speech was made on the day of his son’s death. Biden and the First Lady attended a memorial mass for Beau on Sunday.
Joe Biden’s deeply personal Memorial Day observance. (From the Associated Press)
Biden repeated the theme of an America being based on “an idea” of equality, unlike most nations founded on geographic location or ethnic group.
Biden said he had emphasized America’s differences in recent conversations with the strongman leaders of Russia and China.
On Monday morning the Bidens return to Washington, D.C. Biden and the First Lady, the Vice President, and the Second Gentleman will participate in a wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery. Biden will also deliver remarks on the National Memorial Day Observance.
On Friday afternoon Biden spoke at an event for service members in Hampton, VA, before the president and First Lady Dr. Jill Biden traveled to their home near Greenville on Friday afternoon via Air Force One.
The Biden motorcade to their home typically results in brief traffic delays that have gained the name “Joe Jams.” The motorcade travels on Route 141, a highway that, along with exits to I-95, has been under construction for years.
Since late January, the Bidens have spent many weekends at home attending Mass at St. Joseph on the Brandywine with the president, sometimes getting in a round of golf. Biden sightings are rare.
The traffic delays lead to lively discussions on social media between supporters and critics of the president.
Biden’s trips have a modest impact on the economy in northern Delaware, thanks to a small number of press people and staff who accompany the president. The press contingent was larger than usual due to the Sunday Veterans Day event and the president’s stepped-up travel schedule.
On Tuesday, Biden will travel to Tulsa, Oklahoma, to mark the 100th anniversary of the Tulsa Race Massacre that claimed an estimated 300 lives in a thriving Black community. No one was prosecuted for the fires, violence, and murders. The community that was once known as Black Wall Street never recovered.
The once little-known tragedy entered the national discussion on race after the murder of George Floyd and an indoor rally by then-President Trump weeks after the event’s anniversary.
Biden will meet with surviving members of the community who now range in age from 101 and 107.
The Bidens have not yet visited their second home near Rehoboth Beach, although Jill did spend time at the residence while recovering from a medical procedure.
The Memorial Day weekend for the Bidens came with bad weather that included rain and cool temperatures.
The possibility of summer visits to Rehoboth has led to concerns about a no-fly zone set up around the president’s homes, from those towing aerial banners that attempt to lure beachgoers to attractions in the area.
Earlier this spring, a military jet forced the pilot of a private plane to land at a Pennsylvania airport after straying into the Wilmington area zone.
This week, the president flew to Ohio to promote an economic recovery plan that Republicans claim is too costly.
He also stopped off at an ice cream shop, a regular occurrence when the president is on the road in warmer months.