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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. (Photograph by Mandel NGAN / AFP) (Photograph by MANDEL NGAN/AFP through Getty Photos)

Mandel Ngan | Afp | Getty Photos

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

Biden was joined by first girl 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 crimson, white and blue bow, after which bowed his head in prayer.

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

“Yearly we keep in mind,” he stated. “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 closing settlement on a deal that may increase America’s debt restrict and that now awaits approval by Congress.

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

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

The warfare in Afghanistan, nevertheless, led to lethal and chaotic vogue 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 overview 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 support 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 want 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 not too long ago 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 girl have been scheduled to return their residence close to Wilmington, Delaware, later Monday to spend the remainder of the federal vacation.