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Remarks: Joe Biden Joins Servicemembers for Friendsgiving Dinner in Norfolk - November 19, 2023

  • Joe Biden
    Person
  • Jill Biden
    Person
  • Sibrina Sears
    Person
  • Note
    Person
  • Unidentified
    Person
  • Jasmin Garcia
    Person
Very Positive

Jill Biden

Very Positive
00:00:00-00:00:05 (6 sec)
Well, Happy Thanksgiving. 1

Jill Biden

Very Positive
00:00:05-00:00:36 (31 sec)
I'm sorry that I have to lead this off with a sad announcement. Our former First Lady Rosalynn Carter has just passed. And she was well known for her efforts on mental health and caregiving and women's rights. So, I hope that during the holidays, you'll consider saying your -- include the Carter family in your prayers. 2

Jill Biden

Negative
00:00:36-00:01:00 (24 sec)
When our son Beau was deployed, we saw how much his children missed their daddy. And I know how many in this room are living with an empty chair at your table right now. Or maybe you're stationed far from your family, and your table is a little smaller this year. 3

Jill Biden

Very Positive
00:01:00-00:01:15 (15 sec)
You and your families sacrifice so much in times of war and peace. And it's our duty and honor to make sure that you feel supported. 4

Jill Biden

Somewhat Positive
00:01:15-00:01:34 (20 sec)
That's what my Joining Forces initiative -- my White House initiative supports: military and veterans' spouses, caregivers, and survivors. So, that's what I started several years ago with Michelle Obama, and we have continued that on. 5

Jill Biden

Very Positive
00:01:34-00:01:44 (9 sec)
And it's why we join military families for Friendsgiving year after year. Thank you to the Robert Irvine Foundation and the USO for making this possible. [Applause] 6

Jill Biden

Very Positive
00:01:44-00:02:07 (24 sec)
We hope you can wrap yourselves in the love and community that surrounds you. Because family is more than parents and partners. It's the people in this room, the bonds we forge, and the families we create together. 7

Jill Biden

Unknown
00:02:07-00:02:16 (9 sec)
Now I'll turn it over to Navy veteran and Norfolk Navy spouse, Sibrina Sears. 8

Jill Biden

Unknown
00:02:16-00:02:17 (1 sec)
Sibrina. 9

Sibrina Sears

Very Positive
00:02:17-00:02:18 (1 sec)
Thank you. Thank you. 10

Sibrina Sears

Very Positive
00:02:18-00:02:39 (20 sec)
Good afternoon. I am Sibrina Sears. I am one of the many people with a spouse deployed on the Eisenhower. I have been married to my wonderful husband, ABEC Shannon Sears, for almost nine years now, and we have five beautiful daughters. 11

Sibrina Sears

Very Positive
00:02:39-00:03:13 (34 sec)
Before becoming a military spouse, I was active duty. And before that, I was a Navy brat. I can say that I've experienced this life from every perspective, and it is not hard. Being away from family and just put in a new place is not easy, but one thing I can say that makes it easier is this military community and events like these that help us -- help bring us together and let us know that we are not forgotten and we are still important. 12

Sibrina Sears

Very Positive
00:03:13-00:03:22 (9 sec)
Now it's my honor and privilege to introduce to you the president of the United States of America, President Joe Biden. [Applause] 13

Joe Biden

Very Positive
00:03:22-00:03:24 (2 sec)
Thank you, thank you, thank you. 14

Joe Biden

Somewhat Positive
00:03:24-00:03:29 (5 sec)
Please, everybody, sit down. You don't have to be standing. 15

Joe Biden

Somewhat Positive
00:03:29-00:03:33 (3 sec)
Thank you all so very much. 16

Joe Biden

Very Positive
00:03:33-00:03:53 (21 sec)
You know, I've been saying for a long, long time, we only -- we have a lot of obligations as a government. We only have one truly sacred obligation, and that's to prepare those who we send into harm's way, care for them and their families when they come home, and make sure they're never forgotten. 17

Joe Biden

Slightly Positive
00:03:53-00:04:18 (25 sec)
You literally are -- it's is not hyperbole -- so, you literally are the backbone, the spine, the sinew of this nation. Only 1 percent of you -- and it's important to keep mind -- 1 percent of you -- that's all -- that protects the 99 percent of us. One percent. And the sacrifices you make -- not just those who are in uniform but those who are not in uniform. 18

Joe Biden

Unknown
00:04:18-00:04:27 (9 sec)
You know, there's that famous poet -- an English poet who said, "They also serve... " -- Chaplain -- "... who also only stand and wait." 19

Joe Biden

Positive
00:04:27-00:05:01 (34 sec)
I watched, for the year our son was in Iraq as a major in the United States Army -- if you excuse the reference to the Army -- [laughter] -- in the Army. And I watched every morning that -- when I was home with Jill. She'd get up in the morning, and she'd be standing on the way to teach school. And she'd be standing there with a cup of coffee over the sink, and you could see her mouthing a prayer that one of her -- one of the generals -- na- -- our generals had -- wife had given her. Every day. 20

Joe Biden

Leans Negative
00:05:01-00:05:14 (12 sec)
And it's hard looking at that empty tab- -- that empty chair, especially for holidays. It's hard watching it. And many of you were right here when you -- not long ago when you sent your -- your troops off, your family off. 21

Joe Biden

Unknown
00:05:14-00:05:17 (3 sec)
But, you know, they're incredible. 22

Joe Biden

Somewhat Negative
00:05:17-00:05:39 (22 sec)
Everywhere I go -- and I've been to over 140 nations -- everywhere I go in my career, no one misunderstands that we have the finest military in the world -- not a joke. We have the finest military in the world. And that's not just because of their fighting ability, which is un- -- undisputed, but the way -- 23

Note

Unknown
00:05:39-00:05:39 ( sec)
[A child in the audience cries] 24

Joe Biden

Slightly Negative
00:05:39-00:05:48 (9 sec)
That's okay. You're allowed -- she's allowed. In my family, kids rule. [Laughter] So, she can holler, she can scream, do whatever she wants to do. 25

Joe Biden

Very Positive
00:05:48-00:06:03 (15 sec)
But, look, I -- I mean it from the bottom of my heart. You know, you family members, you are the heart of this operation. You really are. Not -- not a joke. So, thank you, thank you, thank you. 26

Joe Biden

Very Positive
00:06:03-00:06:19 (17 sec)
And like I said, like Jill said, you know, for the -- for the year after our son came home from Kosovo and then headed off to Iraq for a year as an Army Major, I watched his kids every day. And, you know, anyway, I don't want to get to talking about that. 27

Joe Biden

Very Positive
00:06:19-00:06:25 (6 sec)
But it's just -- it's just not easy for you all. So, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you. 28

Joe Biden

Very Positive
00:06:25-00:06:44 (19 sec)
And as I said -- you know, there's a -- John Milton, English poet -- and I'll end with this -- said, "They also serve who only stand and wait." "They also serve who only stand and wait." And that's what you do. So, thank you, thank you, thank you. 29

Joe Biden

Very Positive
00:06:44-00:06:49 (5 sec)
And I love your ears. I love them. They're really cool. What's your name? 30

Jasmin Garcia

Unknown
00:06:49-00:06:50 (1 sec)
Catherine. 31

Joe Biden

Very Positive
00:06:50-00:06:56 (6 sec)
Catherine. What a beautiful name. That's my mommy's name. Well, nice to see -- how old are you? 17? 32

Unidentified

Unknown
00:06:56-00:06:57 (1 sec)
She's six. 33

Joe Biden

Unknown
00:06:57-00:07:00 (3 sec)
Six. And how old are you? Fifteen? 34

Unidentified

Unknown
00:07:00-00:07:00 ( sec)
Four. 35

Joe Biden

Positive
00:07:00-00:07:03 (3 sec)
Four? You're a pretty big guy. 36

Joe Biden

Very Positive
00:07:03-00:07:09 (6 sec)
Well, I tell you what. Be nice to your sister. You're going to need her someday. At least I did. 37

Joe Biden

Somewhat Positive
00:07:09-00:07:19 (10 sec)
Anyway, thank you all so very much. And if I -- I get to give you the dressing. And if you don't like dressing, just come up and pretend to do and say hi to me. Okay? [Laughter] 38

Joe Biden

Very Positive
00:07:19-00:07:26 (7 sec)
Thank you all very much. And Happy -- Happy Thanksgiving. May God love you all. Thank you, thank you, thank you. 39

Joe Biden

Very Positive
00:07:26-00:07:33 (7 sec)
Now I'm going to introduce the Chaplain. Chaplain, thank you. Appreciate it. 40