President Biden said how America honors the memory of its fallen service members “will determine whether democracy will long endure” in a Memorial Day address at Arlington National Cemetery. The president, who lost his veteran son, Beau, to cancer in 2015, said he recognized the pain so many American families feel on this day.

For years, Mr. Biden has carried around a card stating the number of Americans who have died in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Today, he said, that number is 7,036.

“To all of you who are fighting with the fresh pain of loss, as hard as it is to believe, I promise you this, the day will come when the image of your loved one brings a smile to your lips before it brings a tear to your eyes,” the president said. “The Bible teaches, ‘Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted.’ That comfort, that reassurance, can be a long time in coming, but it will come, I promise you.”

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