Joe Biden appeared in Delaware Thursday to mark Memorial Day with state leaders.
The former vice president and 2020 Democratic presidential candidate joined members of Delaware’s Congressional delegation and elected officials to honor fallen service members near the Delaware Memorial Bridge.
Biden addressed local Gold Star families who lost loved ones serving in the military. He also thanked veterans.
“America is an idea,” he said. “An idea that’s stronger than any army, that’s bigger than any ocean, and that’s more powerful than any tyrant or dictator. And the idea was worth fighting for. And the idea is that this is in fact a place where we do believe that people should be treated equally.”
He also spoke about the country’s obligation to those who served. “As beneficiaries of their bravery, we are charged to meet their legacy. To continue to fight. To turn this nation toward our better angels as Lincoln said, and care for all those who do so much for us.”
Senator Chris Coons called it an “important” part of his job to advocate for veterans and Gold Star families — and encouraged them to reach out to him.
Biden says he chose to take part in the First State’s Memorial Day ceremony because of his late son, Beau Biden, who died four years ago Thursday and had served in the Delaware Army National Guard.
“I know — it’s not hyperbole— he would want me to be here today,” he said. “That’s why I chose this to be the Memorial Day service. ”
State Representative Nnamdi Chuchwuocha, a U.S. Army veteran and state Poet Laureate, delivered a poem of thanks during the ceremony.
Representatives from groups including the Korean War Veterans Association of Delaware, the Jewish War Veterans Department of Delaware and the First State Military Women Warriors also participated in Thursday’s ceremony.
Following the event, Biden declined to comment on several other political matters, but reacted to recent reports that the White House directed the Navy to obscure the warship USS John S. McCain while President Donald Trump visited Japan. Trump has said he was not involved in the effort.
“John McCain was a war hero,” said Biden. “He should be treated as a war hero. Anything less than that is beneath anyone who doesn’t treat him that way.”