The president and his wife, Dr. Jill Biden, visited St. Joseph's church in Wilmington, Delaware, which has Beau's burial site.
President Joe Biden, 78, honored his son, Beau, who died on May 30, 2015, on the sixth anniversary of his passing. Beau was only 46 when he died of brain cancer. The president and his wife, Dr. Jill Biden, visited St. Joseph's church in Wilmington, Delaware. The church has Beau's burial site and the couple are regulars there.
Biden's daughter Ashley, as well as Beau's son Hunter, attended the memorial mass. Hunter sat beside his grandfather at Veterans Memorial Park for their annual Memorial Day service on May 30. "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," Biden said, according to People. "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. Brings back everything. So I can't thank you enough for your continued service to the country," he said, adding, "Your sons, your daughters, they live in your hearts and in their children as well. Thank you for allowing us to grieve together today."
This is an emotional time for the president, who didn't leave his son out of his speech while addressing service members and their families ahead of Memorial Day. The president spoke about his son's decision to temporarily leave his position as attorney general in Delaware in 2008 to join his 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 — while he went. The proudest thing he ever did," Biden said. "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."
"I shouldn't be talking so much about my son, but I'm not going to apologize for it," he continued. "He's like a lot of you. You do your duty. You don't expect anything for it except be a little — have — get a little respect. It deserves so much more. You deserve so much more," he said.
In January 2021, he gave an emotional speech at the Major Joseph R. "Beau" Biden, III National Guard Reserve Center in New Castle, Delaware — named for his late son Beau, when he was departing for Washington D.C. "I only have one regret, he's not here," Biden said, writes People. "Because we should be introducing him as president."
He misses his son and is not afraid to voice the pain of his loss. Just because he is the commander-in-chief, he hasn't forgotten to honor his son or acknowledge his pain. Only when he does that can he understand what other parents, who lost their children, are going through.
"We must remember the price that was paid for our liberties. We must remember the debt we owe those who have paid it, and the families left behind. My heart is torn in half by the grief," Biden said on May 30, 2021, according to Reuters.
Biden has a photo of Beau behind the Resolute Desk in the Oval Office. In fact, it was reported that he had the photo mounted immediately after he moved in, as per People. This is not the only loss that Biden has faced in his life. His first wife, Neilia Hunter Biden, and their infant daughter, Naomi, died in a car crash in 1972. Beau and Biden's younger son, Hunter, survived the crash.
Cover image source: Getty Images | Photo by (L) Khalid Mohammed (R) Mark Wilson