Remarks as Prepared for Delivery by First Lady Jill Biden at Event to Honor Memory of World War I Service Members

The East Room

Welcome to the White House!

“They were mortal, but they were unconquerable.” Those are the words etched into the stone of the National World War I Memorial.

Through DC’s wilting heat and beating rain, the memorial shares the echoes of our history, of the heroes – who gave their all so that others could be free, for the hope that our world could know peace. That spirit lives on in the service members who returned, and the families who served alongside them.

The spouses and children left on our shores, who watched a piece of their hearts walk away, who waited – with love and hope – for their service members to come home. I know so many in this room are part of that legacy – have family who served in World War I. America will always remember your family’s sacrifice. And now, we can honor it for the world to see in our nation’s front yard, because of all of you.

Military spouses and children may not wear the uniform, but they serve our country too. That was true a century ago and it’s true now.

That’s why I started Joining Forces, my White House initiative to support military and veteran families, caregivers, and survivors.

The Bidens are a military family. My father was a Navy Signalman in World War II. And our son, Major Beau Biden, served for a year in Iraq as part of the Delaware Army National Guard. So, this is personal to us.

I know so many of you have worked long and hard to bring this memorial to Washington. Your work commemorates a generation who changed our world with their courage and sacrifice. And as we stand before the rippling water and lines of soldiers, we feel our history weaving with our present, stitching us to something greater than we are alone.

As your First Lady, as a military mom and military daughter, with all my heart, thank you.

Now, please welcome, someone who has put so much heart and hard work into making this memorial possible, Chairman Hamby.


Official news published at

Global Media Coverage