Fact Check: Joe Biden And Kamala Harris Did NOT Ignore Military, Their Families Over Memorial Day Weekend

Fact Check

  • by: Alexis Tereszcuk
Fact Check: Joe Biden And Kamala Harris Did NOT Ignore Military, Their Families Over Memorial Day Weekend Many Thanks

Did Joe Biden and Kamala Harris make zero mention of the military who lost their lives and of their family members over the Memorial Day holiday weekend? No, that's not true: The president and vice president both attended a wreath laying service at Arlington National Cemetery on Memorial Day where he spoke about the sacrifices made by military members and their families.

Over the long weekend the president appeared at several events honoring the military, made speeches and shared messages on social media about the military and service members, as did vice president.

The claim appeared as a Facebook post (archived here) on May 31, 2021. It opened:

ZERO mention of the brave men and women who payed the ultimate sacrifice for us.

ZERO mention of the reason why we have this long weekend.

ZERO mention of the families mourning for those who died in combat.

America deserves better. #MemorialDay

This is what the post looked like on Facebook at the time of writing:

Facebook screenshot

(Source: Facebook screenshot taken on Tue Jun 1 20:32:16 2021 UTC)

The White House pool reporter wrote about the wreath laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery on May 31, 2021 in an email obtained by Lead Stories.

President Biden presented a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier to mark Memorial Day at 10:11. He appeared to bow his head in prayer and crossed himself in front of the wreath, which already was in place on a stand.

Vice President Kamala Harris and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin accompanied him. Before Biden approached the wreath, he and Austin saluted the tomb as a military band played the National Anthem. Harris placed a hand over her heart.

We in the pool did not see Biden exit the Beast ahead of the ceremony.

Biden is scheduled to deliver a Memorial Day address around 10:30. His remarks will be carried live on the White House website and I will send a pool report when it begins.

The White House released a transcript of Biden's remarks at Arlington National Cemetery on Memorial Day. It began:

THE PRESIDENT: Madam Vice President, Secretary Austin, Secretary McDonough, General Milley, Gold Star families, my fellow Americans -- we're gathered at this sacred place in this solemn hour to engage in the most fundamental of undertakings: the rite of remembrance.

We remember those who gave their all in the service of America, in the service of freedom, in the service of justice. We remember their sacrifice, their valor, and their grace. We remember their smiles; their loves; their laughter; their essential, vibrant, and transcendent humanity.

For while we stand amid monuments of stone, we must never forget that each of these markers, for those known and unknown, here at Arlington and far beyond represent a precious life: a son, a daughter, a mother, a spouse, a brother, a sister, a friend, a neighbor.

Biden tweeted video of the wreath laying ceremony from his official @POTUS account on May 31, 2021:

He posted a second tweet with a photograph from the wreath laying ceremony on May 31, 2021:

And another tweet on May 31, 2021:

On May 30, 2021, Biden spoke at the annual Memorial Day service at Veterans Memorial Park in New Castle, Delaware. The White House released a transcript of his remarks, which began at 10:53 am EDT:

May 30, 2021

Remarks by President Biden at an Annual Memorial Day Service

Veterans Memorial Park
New Castle, Delaware

10:53 A.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much. Good morning, everyone. It's good to be here on this solemn occasion with so many friends -- Governor Carney, Senator Carper, Attorney Keneral- [sic] -- General Kathy Jennings. General Berry, it's good to see you. And thank you for everything you do for the Delaware National Guard.

By the way, I saw General Vavala this morning. He's become not only a general, but a great friend. A great friend. He was at Beau's memorial mass this morning. Thank you for being there, General. I appreciate it. (Applause.)

And, by the way, Hunter has had one shot -- (laughter) -- not two, and he's just making sure everybody is okay.

Me and my family, we've tried to participate in this event every year because it's an important tradition in the Delaware community. Even last year, in those early dark days of the pandemic, Jill and I didn't want to let Memorial Day pass like every other day. And there was no event here, but we came to lay a wreath at the plaza. It was the first time we did any sort of event since the lockdown had begun in March because we were determined -- determined -- to honor the fallen, to pay tribute to the women and men who braved every danger, who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.

Biden tweeted a video from the event on May 30, 2021, from his official @POTUS account:

The White House pool reporter gave details about his visit in an email dated May 30, 2021, obtained by Lead Stories.

POTUS arrived at a park near the Delaware Memorial Bridge around 10:20 a.m.

Pool watched POTUS walk to a tent at 10:26 am. Audience members stood and clapped when he arrived. It's lightly raining and chilly, but members of the audience are protected by the white tent. There are about 100 people in the audience.

POTUS stood with his right hand on his heart as a local choir sang the Star Spangled Banner. He was facing a memorial wall inscribed with the names of soldiers from Delaware and New Jersey who died in WWII and Korea.

POTUS stood with Sen. Tom Carper, along with Del. Gov. John Carney.

On May 30, 2021, Biden gave Army Col. Ralph Puckett the Medal of Honor in the White House. He tweeted video of their meeting:

Harris tweeted a message about Memorial Day from her official @VP account on May 31, 2021:

Harris tweeted at 7 a.m. on May 30, 2021:

Harris gave remarks at the U.S. Naval Academy graduation and commissioning ceremony at the Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis, Maryland, on May 28, 2021. She thanked the members for their service, according to a transcript provided by the White House the same day:

Family and friends of these graduates, thank you for the sacrifices you have already made and will make.

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  Alexis Tereszcuk

Alexis Tereszcuk is a writer and fact checker at Lead Stories and an award-winning journalist who spent over a decade breaking hard news and celebrity scoop with RadarOnline and Us Weekly.

As the Entertainment Editor, she investigated Hollywood stories and conducted interviews with A-list celebrities and reality stars.  

Alexis’ crime reporting earned her spots as a contributor on the Nancy Grace show, CNN, Fox News and Entertainment Tonight, among others.

Read more about or contact Alexis Tereszcuk

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