Nation mourns as US reaches 500,000 COVID-19 deaths
During a somber event this week, President Joe Biden led the country in honoring those 500,000 Americans who lost their lives to the coronavirus.
Addressing our collective grief, the President spoke about this unimaginable number and reflected on how more Americans have died in one year in this pandemic than in World War I, World War II, and the Vietnam War combined. Biden urged the country to stay strong and find purpose. “Let this not be a story of how far we fell, but how far we climbed back up,” said the President.
As he empathized with surviving families and the nation, Biden’s own personal grief and history of loss are never far removed from his thoughts. A car crash took the lives of his first wife and baby daughter in 1972 and left his young sons, Beau and Hunter, seriously injured. President Biden would endure grief yet again when Beau, a former Attorney General of Delaware, died of brain cancer in 2015. “I know what it’s like when you are there holding their hand, looking in their eyes and they slip away,” Biden said – briefly losing his composure.
In his comfort of the nation, President Biden encouraged the families to remember the lives of their loved ones who have died. Biden was joined by first lady Jill Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, and second gentleman Doug Emhoff in leading the country in a moment of silence in front of 400 lit candles on the south lawn of the White House.
Click here to read President Biden’s remarks.