Vice President Joe Biden on Thursday thanked U.S. servicemen in Hawaii for being among what he called "the greatest generation of warriors that the world has ever produced."
He thanked about 1,200 Marines and sailors gathered at Marine Corps Base Hawaii for their service in Iraq and Afghanistan. He said their presence in the Pacific also helped provide an environment of stability and growth in the region.
"I came to say thank you. Thank you … to the greatest generation of warriors that the world has ever produced. And that is not hyperbole," Biden said during a stop in the islands on his way back from a weeklong tour of Asia. "You represent a generation of Americas equal to any that has gone before."
He hailed the servicemen and women for being "the best America has."
After his speech, the vice president shook hands and posed for photos with service members and their families. He arrived in Hawaii on Wednesday and was due to leave for Delaware on Thursday night.
In Japan, Biden praised the resolve of the Japanese people in their efforts to recover from the tsunami and reaffirmed the two countries’ alliance as vital for regional peace and prosperity.
Biden also stressed strong economic and military ties between Japan and the U.S., calling their security alliance the "foundation of this region’s security and prosperity for over half a century."
In Mongolia, the vice president tried his hand at archery, watched a wrestling match and named a horse during a brief visit to Mongolia, which he called a shining example of democratic development.
At his first stop, Biden got extensive face-time with the country’s expected future leader, Xi Jinping. He also sought to reassure China’s leaders and ordinary citizens about the safety of their assets in the United States following the downgrading of America’s credit rating.