Vice President Joe Biden announced that his oldest son, Beau Biden, passed away on Saturday after a long battle with cancer. Beau Biden, who was the former attorney general of the state of Delaware, was only 46 years old. During his diagonsis of brain cancer, he had previously announced he would run for governor in the state of Delaware next year. Beau Biden was a major in the National Guard for the state of Delaware having served there for a number of years. His diagnosis began in 2010 when he suffered a stroke, which was followed by a surgery 3 years later due to a brain lesion.
President Obama in an address mentioned the courage and integrity of Beau Biden, noting that he “took after his dad” following in his footsteps in his legal education and political career. In 1972, a car accident resulted in the death of Joe Biden’s first wife and infant daughter. He was newly elected to the U.S. Senate at the time, but wound up being sworn in at the hospital where his wife and young daughter were being treated. After this, Joe Biden notably made it a point to regularly drive home to Delaware to spend as much time with his children as possible.
President Obama Honors Beau Biden
President Barack Obama delivered the eulogy at the funeral for Beau Biden, having passed away a week before. Obama praised Beau’s service to his country, comparing his “big heart” to that of his father, the Vice President. When he concluded his eulogy, the President stepped down from the podium at the St. Anthony Padua Church and embraced Joe Biden, kissing him on the cheek. The President’s comments broke with his usual unemotional appeals, showing his love and care for both the Vice President and his son.
Obama noted that the integrity of Beau Biden was shown strongest in his refusal to run for the U.S. Senate, because he felt the need to help the people of Delaware. In recent years Beau had made a name for himself in the state helping to protect children who were victims of abuse.
Vice President Joe Biden did not speak during the funeral, but his daughter Ashley and son Hunter eulogized their brother during the ceremony. The arrival of his eldest son’s cortege was led by a pipe band with the Vice president following behind in dark glasses and the rest of the family looking bereft as they followed the hearse towards the cathedral. Political allies to Joe Biden and those from the other party attended, with majority leader of the Senate Mitch McConnell attending as well as Minority Leader of the House Nancy Pelosi.
The funeral on Saturday closely followed two days of mourning for Beau Biden, which had showcased the unfortunate deep emotional anguish of the Vice President. The American flag over the White House had been lowered to half staff for the funeral on Saturday as well to honor Joe Biden’s son. Over 1000 people were at the Cathedral today to mourn for Beau Biden, and many politicians were there including Bill and Hillary Clinton.