On Memorial Day 2021, at Arlington National Cemetery, President Joe Biden commemorated those who passed away, serving in the military. He urged his fellow Americans to honor the fallen soldiers by protecting the nation’s democracy. Regarding this, he said, “Democracy itself is in peril, here at home and around the world. What we do now—what we do now, how we honor the memory of the fallen will determine whether or not democracy will long endure.”
Speaking about the fallen, President Biden said, “We owe the honored dead a debt we can never fully repay. We owe them our whole souls. We owe them our full best efforts to perfect the union for which they died.” He stated that the nation must honor the sacrifices of generations of service members “by sustaining the best of America while honestly confronting all that we must do to make our nation fuller, freer, and more just.” He further added, “Empathy is the fuel of democracy. Our willingness to see each other not as enemies, neighbors, even when we disagree, to understand what the other is going through.”
President Biden highlighted the rise of autocratic rule across the world and argued against it, saying that “liberation, opportunity, justice are far more likely to come to pass in a democracy than an autocracy.” He added, “This nation was built on an idea, the only nation in the world built on an idea. Every other nation is built on ethnicity, geography, religion, etcetera. We were built on an idea, the idea of liberty, an opportunity for all. We’ve never fully realized that aspiration of our founding, but every generation has opened the door a little wider, and every generation has opened it wider and wider to be more inclusive.” May 31, 2021, also marked the sixth death anniversary of Beau Biden, President Biden’s son.