President Biden marked the start of the Memorial Day weekend by visiting troops and thanking military families for their ongoing sacrifice and service.
“You are the spine of America,” Biden said Friday during a stop to Joint Base Langley Eustis in Virginia with first lady Jill Biden.
Biden reiterated his decision to withdraw troops from Afghanistan later this year after a 20-year war and honored the men and women who were deployed there multiple times, as well as those who paid the ultimate sacrifice.
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“We can never repay that debt,” Biden said. “But I promise you this, to all the Gold Star families across the country, we will never, ever, ever, ever forget.”
Biden said threats to America have changed since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and the United States will “update our security stance” to reflect the new reality. The likelihood of an attack from Al Qaeda or ISIS is not going to originate in Afghanistan, Biden said, but from “five other regions of the world that have significantly more presence” of the terrorist organizations.
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Biden talked at length about his late son Beau, a veteran, and how serving in the military was one of his eldest son’s proudest achievements. The president said his family recognizes the service members’ sacrifices and said he wants to know how “we can support you better.”
“My message to all of you is quite simple: Thank you,” Biden told the troops.
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“Thank you for choosing selfless service to your country.”