Joe Biden reflected on son Beau — who died at age 46 after a battle with brain cancer — in a deeply moving speech to mark Memorial Day.
Joe Biden, 78, visited the grave of his late son Beau with his grandson Hunter, 15. The two shared a touching moment as Joe embraced Beau’s younger child as they walked side by side in photos captured on Sunday, May 30th. Joe and Hunter were joined by First Lady Jill Biden, 69, and the president’s daughter Ashley, 39, as they marked the sixth anniversary of Beau’s death in Wilmington, Delaware. In the photos, Joe looked sombre as the glanced at his teenage grandson, who kept his face hidden behind a black face mask.
Joe spoke candidly about Beau, who lost his battle to brain cancer in 2015 at just 46 years old, after a visit to St. Joseph’s church — also Beau’s burial site. “As many of you know this is a hard day for us. Six years ago today, Hunter lost his dad and I lost my son,” Joe said at at Memorial Day service at the Veterans Memorial Park. “If he were here, he would be here as well paying his respects to all those who gave so much for our country. A lot of time passes, but you all know as well as I do that the moment that we celebrate it is the toughest day of the year. We’re honored but it’s a tough day,” he said in the deeply emotional address.
“Brings back everything. So I can’t thank you enough for your continued service to the country,” he said to the audience of service members and their family, reminding them that their late children “live in your hearts and in their children as well.” He added, “Thank you for allowing us to grieve together today.” In other photos, he was seen shaking hands with church officials as Hunter stood by his side. Wearing a dapper navy suit and tie, the Pennsylvania native still managed to crack a smile through the emotions of the day. In addition to Hunter, 15, Beau was also father to daughter Natalie, 16.
Just days ago, Joe also shared touching words about Beau’s decision to join the Delaware National Guard unit in Iraq. “He gave up the seat and had the courage to appoint a fellow who had been a Republican attorney general as attorney general while he went. The proudest thing he ever did,” the president said on Friday, May 28. “He spent a year in Iraq. And it was — it was one of the great honors of his life to do it. Won the Bronze Star, the Conspicuous Service Medal, and other awards — like many of you have — but he never, ever talked about it,” he said.