President Obama Delivers a Heartfelt and Eloquent Eulogy for Beau Biden
President Barack Obama delivered an eloquent and deeply affecting eulogy Saturday for former Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden, son of Vice President Joe Biden, who died May 30 of brain cancer at the age of 46.
According to NBC News, more than 1,000 mourners attended the funeral at the St. Anthony of Padua Roman Catholic Church in Wilmington, Delaware. Obama described the late Biden as a "man of character" with a "mighty heart," saying "the world noticed."
He also praised Biden's long career and self-made status, saying he did not rely upon his father's fame to reach his political goals. He also said Biden turned down an appointment to the attorney general position to instead win it in a general election.
"Anyone can make a name for themselves in this reality TV age. Especially in today's politics — if you're loud enough, you can get some attention," Obama said. "But to make that name mean something, to have it associated with dignity and integrity, that's rare."
Obama highlighted Biden's numerous other accomplishments, which included rising to the rank of major in the Army, setting up an anti-bullying task force and becoming the "rare politician who collected more fans than foes."
"He did in 46 years what most of us couldn't do in 146," Obama said. "He left nothing in the tank. He was a man who led a life where the means were as important as the ends. And the example he set made you want to be a better dad, or a better son, or a better brother or sister, better at your job, the better soldier.
"He made you want to be a better person. Isn't that finally the measure of a man — the way he lives, how he treats others, no matter what life may throw at him?"
According to the Washington Post, Obama was asked to deliver the eulogy because of the tight bond between the Biden and Obama families. During the speech, Obama called Biden "my brother."
Beau Biden's siblings, Ashley and Hunter Biden, gave additional remarks. According to NBC News, Joe Biden did not take the stage.
"The boys named me. I was theirs, and I felt as though they were mine," Ashley Biden said. Hunter Biden added that "Beau's was the hand reaching for yours even before you hand to ask."