ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) — President Joe Biden started the Memorial Day weekend by visiting a rock climbing gym in northern Virginia as the state lifted all COVID-19 distancing and capacity restrictions at private businesses and much of the nation pushes toward a greater sense of normalcy.

Get our free mobile app

Biden sought to use the stop on Friday at Sportrock Climbing Centers to celebrate progress made as the country looks to turn the corner on the coronavirus pandemic.

Biden later traveled to Joint Base Langley Eustis to thank troops for their service.

After beginning with an emotional remembrance of his late son Beau, a veteran, Biden acknowledged the unheralded sacrifices that the service members and their families make.

LOOK: Historical Wyoming License Plates Since 1914