Six years ago, in 2015, President Joe Biden lost his 46-year-old son, Beau Biden, to brain cancer. On Sunday, the anniversary of Beau’s death, the president and his family members were seen together remembering the late son during their visit to St. Joseph’s church in Wilmington, Delaware. Biden and his wife, Dr. Jill Biden, regularly visit the church in Delaware, which is also the place Beau was laid to rest.
At the memorial mass, the Biden couple were joined by their daughter, Ashley, and their grandson, Hunter. Following the mass and a visit to Beau’s grave, the Bidens attended the annual Memorial Day service at Veterans Memorial Park the same day. Sharing a moment of grief with military families and veterans, Biden said: “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.”
On many occasions in the past, Biden has spoken about Beau’s memory and how his son was a constant source of encouragement in his political career. Beau was a former Delaware attorney general and also served as a member of the Delaware Army National Guard before his death. He spent a year-long tour in Iraq during his time of service. While speaking at the Memorial Day Service, the president also honored the memory of his son and said: “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.”
“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,” Biden went on to say. Addressing the crowd of veterans as well as people who have lost their loved ones to frontline battles, Biden went on to say, “Your sons, your daughters, they live in your hearts and in their children as well. Thank you for allowing us to grieve together today.”
As he concluded, he said: “I know how much the loss hurts. I know nothing I say can ease the pain. I just know that each year it gets a little bit… a little bit easier.”
Before Memorial Day, Biden gave a speech on Friday, May 21, 2021, where he spoke to service members and families about his son as well.
“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,” the president said. “I shouldn’t be talking so much about my son, but I’m not going to apologize for it. 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.”