Biden said asked what was going on. Beau told his dad that the name ‘Biden’ could be a hassle where he was, and so was instead going by ‘Hunter.’
Hunter was the maiden name of Beau’s mother, who died in a car crash in 1972. It’s also the name of his younger brother, the president’s only living son Hunter.
Biden regularly mentions his late son when he visits service members. And Thursday’s trip to visit the 82nd Airborne Division he deployed to Europe during Russia’s invasion of the Ukraine was no exception.
President Joe Biden talked about his late son Beau when he visited U.S. troops stationed in Poland during his remarks thanking them for their service
Biden often speaks of his late son Beau when visiting service members – above hen Vice President Joe Biden visiting his son Beau in Iraq in 2009
Presiden Biden gave a pep talk to members of 82nd Airborne Division
The president ate pizza and took selfies during his visit.
‘You are the finest fighting force in the world and that’s not hyperbole,’ Biden said before sitting down on a folding chair to eat.
‘Don’t stop eating because of me,’ he said when he walked into the cafeteria and saw the paratroopers munching on the pie provided by the White House.
Biden also visited the barber shop, where one of the service men suggested that maybe Biden should finish the haircut. Biden laughed and said that was the last thing the young man would want.
And he made jokes with the division that specializes in parachute assault operations.
‘Don’t jump. You guys are used to jumping. Don’t jump. Anyway, thanks for letting me come to say hello to you all,’ he told the room full of service members.
He praised them for their duty, telling them they upheld the values seen in the American Declaration of Independence.
‘You know, we’re a unique country in many ways. And we are the only country, the only country in the world not organized based on geography, ethnicity, raced or anything else. We’re based on idea. We hold these truths to be self-evident that all women and men are created equal. Sounds corny, it’s the truth of who we are,’ he said.
And the president praised them for being an example to the rest of the world during his pep talk.
‘We have never lived up to it but never walked away from it. The rest of the world looks to us because you know we not only lead by example of our power, but by the power of our example. Your generation combines both. The rest of the world looks at you and sees who you are and they see you are a multi-ethnic group of Americans together and united in one resolve, to defend your country and to help those who need help. That’s why you are here,’ he said.
He met with troops ‘who have been deployed to Poland to reassure our NATO ally and to deter further aggression on the Eastern flank,’ White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan told reporters en route to Poland.
He could announce permanent troop increases for Eastern Europe, NBC reported.
Poland is the second stop on Biden´s four-day trip to Europe. He spent Thursday in Brussels meeting with world leaders on the response to Russia´s invasion of Ukraine.
Biden is scheduled Saturday to meet separately with Poland´s president and Ukrainian refugees before he heads back to Washington.
The president enjoyed a piece of pepperoni and jalapeño pizza when he met with the troops. The jalapeños made his eyes water, so he dabbed at them with a napkin and someone got him a glass of water
Biden had pizza and took selfies with the 82nd Airborne Division stationed at Rzeszów during Russia’s brutal invasion and thanked the 100,000 members of American armed forces stationed around the rest of Europe.
President Joe Biden landed in Poland Friday to meet US troops and visit Ukrainian refugees at the border as the White House warned it is working on ‘contingency’ plans if Vladimir Putin attacks NATO allies
Biden says he was told he couldn’t cross the border into Ukraine and refers to invasion and civilian courage as ‘Tiananmen Square squared’
During a meeting with Polish President Andrzej Duda later on Friday, he reached for new words and analogies to find ways to try to describe the horrors Ukrainians are facing Thursday – comparing blown out landscapes to something ‘out of a science fiction movie.’
After landing in Rzeszow near the Ukrainian border, Biden also spoke to the bravery of Ukrainian citizens rising up to try to counter the Russian invasion,’ comparing them to protesters who resisted a Chinese government crackdown.
At an event where he was briefed on efforts to coordinate the humanitarian response, Biden spoke of the ‘courage and passion for resilience of the Ukrainian people.’
‘When you see a 30-year old woman standing there in front of a tank with a rifle. I mean, talk about what happened in Tiananmen Square? This is Tiananmen Square, squared,’ Biden said.
He was referencing the iconic 1989 image where a lone man stood in front of a tank to try to stop the government crackdown.
There have been similar scenes in Ukraine, where ordinary citizens used their bodies and and personal appeals to try to stop Russian armor – even as Ukrainian troops take a toll of their by blowing up Russian equipment with arms provided by the U.S. and allies.
The president cited UN figures saying 12 million Ukrainians need assistance, with thousands of civilian casualties since the invasion a month ago.
‘Hundreds of thousands of people are being cut off from health by Russian forces and are being besieged in places like Mariupol. I mean, it’s not stopping. It’s like something out of a science fiction movie. Turn on the television and see what these towns look like, and cities,’ he said.
He spoke on a day when new video emerged of the destruction inside a theater in Mariupol, where Ukrainian authorities said 300 people had died in the Russian attack. Images after the building was struck show Ukrainian women and children covered in dust trying to leave the once stately building.
Biden also spoke Friday to members of the storied 182nd Airborne Division – lauding troops for both assisting in relief and helping protect NATO’s eastern flank amid. The administration says officials are preparing for ‘contingencies’ should Russia try attack NATO territory to try to stop efforts to arm the Ukrainians.
Biden alluded to his many past trips to war zones, some during his decades as a senator.
Biden was joined by Polish President Andrzej Duda, at one point reaching along a table to grab his hand and explain that a ‘pizza pie’ with hot peppers was making him cough