US President Joe Biden took the opportunity to tie the solemnity of the US Memorial Day holiday on Monday to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
“In this moment, when a war of aggression is once more be waged by Russia to snuff out the freedom and democracy the very culture and identity of neighboring Ukraine, see so clearly all that's at stake – freedom has never been free, democracy has always required champions," Biden said during remarks from the Arlington National Cemetery.
He continued: “Today, in the perennial struggle for democracy and freedom, Ukraine and its people are on the front lines fighting to save their nation. But their fight is part of a larger fight that unites all people, it’s a fight that so many of the patriots whose eternal rest is here on these hallowed grounds were part of – a battle between democracy and autocracy; between liberty and repression; between appetites and ambitions of a few, who forever seek to dominate the lives and liberties of many; a battle for essential democratic principles, for rule of law, free and fair elections, freedom to speak and write and assemble, freedom to worship as one chooses, freedom of the press – principles that are essential for a free society.”
US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, who introduced Biden, echoed the President's sentiment, highlighting in his speech the “power of democratic citizens and soldiers to defy tyranny, cruelty and oppression,” in Ukraine as Russia’s invasion of the country continues.