(Belleau) Joe Biden paid tribute on Sunday to the American soldiers who fell in France, during a ceremony which also allows him, indirectly, to scratch his predecessor and rival Donald Trump.

On the last day of his trip to France, partly devoted to commemorating the Allied landings of 1944, the American president this time paid tribute to the memory of the Americans who died in combat during the First World War, at the Bois Belleau cemetery (Aisne).

The 81-year-old Democrat laid a wreath and paused for a moment before making the sign of the cross.

The site has 2,289 graves, many of the “Marines” who died in the summer of 1918, during a fierce battle lasting more than three weeks in Bois Belleau, considered a turning point in the conflict.

These battles also gave rise to the reputation of bravery of the Marines, a famous division of the American armed forces.

In 2018, Republican Donald Trump, then president, decided against going to this cemetery as planned, officially because of bad weather conditions preventing a trip by helicopter.

He feared, according to comments reported to The Atlantic magazine by witnesses, that the rain would disturb his hairstyle. And would have said, “Why should I go to this cemetery? It’s full of losers.

The billionaire denied having made these comments, which shocked a country where veterans are revered.

Asked on Sunday during his visit what message he intended to send to voters, Joe Biden dodged: “Do you have another question? »

The US president, who will face Donald Trump in November for a second term, has referenced the episode several times during his campaign.

Last Tuesday again, in front of donors, he said: “He said that they (Editor’s note: the American soldiers buried in the Bois Belleau cemetery) were losers and poor people (suckers) […] But for Who the hell does he think he is? »

The campaign team of Joe Biden, who is tied in the polls with his 77-year-old opponent, also published a video this week in which three veterans criticize the Republican.