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First Lady Jill Biden visits military families in Groton

President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden pose for photographs Navy personnel after a commissioning ceremony for USS Delaware, Virginia-class fast-attack submarine, at the Port of Wilmington in Wilmington, Del., Saturday, April 2, 2022. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
Carolyn Kaster
/
AP
President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden pose for photographs Navy personnel after a commissioning ceremony for USS Delaware, Virginia-class fast-attack submarine, at the Port of Wilmington in Wilmington, Del.

First Lady Jill Biden visited Groton, Connecticut on Thursday night to celebrate the holidays with members of the USS Delaware.

The First Lady was greeted at the Groton-New London Airfield by U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Connecticut Lieutenant Governor Susan Bysiewicz, as well as local elected and tribal officials.

On her way to the event at the Submarine Force Museum, Biden’s motorcade drove past a group of protesters calling for a ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas war.

Dr. Biden is the USS Delaware's sponsor and has attended multiple events related to the vessel, which returned from its first deployment this past summer.

She thanked the ship’s crew and their families for their sacrifices.

“Days without sun and nights without bedtime stories. And never enough time at home. But there have been moments of joy, haven’t there,” she asked, to which a young child in the crowd replied, “Yes.”

“Oh, I love that,” she said.

Biden said she was proud to consider herself a “shipmate,” and spoke about her family’s military experience. Her father was a World War II veteran, and her son, Beau Biden, was deployed in Iraq.

“To the military kids and spouses, I want to thank you too,” Biden said. “Because while you may not wear a uniform, the president and I know that you serve your country too. And we are grateful.”

Biden wished the crew luck in the new year and told them they were never alone — she reminded them that they have support back home.

“As you get underway once more this new year, I ask that you hold on to those bonds — the ones that can join us across miles and oceans, shining even in the darkest water, always illuminating the way home, connecting all of us in one great military family — bound by the love of country and love for one another,” Biden said.

Molly is a reporter covering Connecticut. She also produces Long Story Short, a podcast exploring public policy issues across Connecticut.