Speed Reads

honoring the fallen

Biden describes 'empathy' as being 'the fuel of democracy'

President Biden on Monday went to Arlington National Cemetery for a ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, where he called on Americans to reflect on the meaning of Memorial Day and the sacrifices made by military members who died while serving their country.

"Generation after generation of American heroes are signed up to be part of the fight because they understand the truth that lives in every American heart: that liberation, opportunity, justice are far more likely to come to pass in a democracy than in an autocracy," Biden said. "These Americans weren't fighting for dictators, they were fighting for democracy. They weren't fighting to exclude or to enslave, they were fighting to build and broaden and liberate."

The United States was "built on an idea," Biden said. "We were built on an idea, the idea of liberty and opportunity for all. We've never fully realized that aspiration of our founders, but every generation has opened the door a little wider."

His remarks also touched on the importance of coming together, with the president declaring that the "soul of America is animated by the perennial battle between our worst instincts, which we've seen of late, and our better angels. Between Me First and We the People. Between greed and generosity, cruelty and kindness, captivity and freedom." He believes that "empathy is the fuel of democracy" and asked Americans to "see each other not as enemies ... even when we disagree."