NORFOLK, Va. (AP) — President Joe Biden visited naval installations in Virginia on Sunday to kick off the Thanksgiving holiday week, introducing an early screening of the upcoming movie “Wonka” and sharing a “friendsgiving” meal with service members and their relatives.
Biden also paid tribute Sunday to former first lady Rosalynn Carter, who died Sunday, and to President Jimmy Carter. “They brought so much grace to the office,” Biden said.
The president and first lady Jill Biden headed to a packed auditorium at Naval Support Activity Hampton Roads to introduce the new film centered around the early life of Roald Dahl's fictional eccentric chocolatier, Willy Wonka. It will be officially released Dec. 15.
He joked to the many youngsters in the crowd: “I like kids more than adults” and added “I wish I could stay and watch Wonka with you.”
Instead, the Bidens helped serve dinner with service members from the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower and the USS Gerald R. Ford at Norfolk Naval Station, the largest installation of its kind in the world, along with their families.
“You literally are the backbone, the spine, the spine of this nation,” the president said. “Only 1% of you, that's all, that protects the 99% of us.”
The event featured around 400 service members and their relatives seated in folding chairs and around wooden, circular tables inside a concrete-floored hanger that included three display…