Unknown man in uniform seen keeping vigil at Beau Biden’s grave during inauguration
As President Biden was sworn into office on Wednesday, an unidentified man in uniform was seen keeping a silent vigil at the Delaware gravesite of Biden’s late son Beau Biden.
Patricia Talorico, a writer for the Delaware News Journal, took a now-viral photograph more than 110 miles away from the nation’s capital as Biden took the oath of office on a family Bible used by his son.
Poignant moment: While Joe Biden gave his inauguration speech, a lone man in a uniform knelt at the Delaware grave of his son Beau. pic.twitter.com/QkCuJRHzTz
— Patricia Talorico (@PattyTalorico) January 20, 2021
Beau Biden, the former attorney general of Delaware and a rising political star, died of brain cancer in 2015 at the age of 46. He also served in the Delaware Army National Guard, receiving the Bronze Star.
The president has spoken frequently about his grief on the campaign trail. As he left his home state of Delaware before the inauguration, he said his only regret was that Beau was not there.
“Because we should be introducing him as president. But we have great opportunities. Delaware has taught us anything is possible,” an emotional Biden said, pausing to wipe away tears.
Talorico later detailed for Delaware Online how she had been sent out on assignment to cover any celebrations planned in the new president’s home state for Inauguration Day.
She decided to drive to St. Joseph on the Brandywine Catholic Church in Wilmington to pay her respects.
“I saw a lone person in a blue uniform kneeling at Beau’s grave. No one else was around on this cold, windy afternoon except for a few people doing outside work at the cemetery,” she wrote. “In my car, I had the radio tuned to CNN. Joe Biden was being sworn in as president and was about to begin his address. The person in the uniform bowed their head and clasped their hands. The image brought tears to my eyes.”
The reporter said she couldn’t bring herself to interrupt a “poignant, solemn moment,” so she took some photos and listened to the Biden’s speech from her car.
“The journalist in me wanted to go back and find out the person’s identity and ask why they were there,” she wrote. “The person who once received a kind gesture from Beau when I needed it most knew it was a time to be respectful, and I drove away.”
Talorico wrote that Delaware “is a tiny state” and “the joke is there are no degrees of separation.”
Beau Biden was a few years younger than her and they knew some mutual people, she wrote, adding that their paths had crossed occasionally over the years and recalled running into him at a political event in 2002. The reporter noted that she was stressed about her assignment and her looming deadline.
“I’m sure the despair showed in my face,” she recalled. “Then I heard a friendly voice say, ‘Hey, how are you? Are you OK?’ I looked up and it was Beau standing over me, holding out his hand. He introduced himself (but I already knew who he was), and we shook hands and made small talk.”
Talorico wrote that Beau Biden was “just being kind.”
“It wasn’t a grand gesture, just a small one, but somehow, it made a difference that day. I never forgot that act of kindness,” she wrote.
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