Thousands gathered at St. Anthony of Padua Roman Catholic Church in Wilmington, Delaware, on Saturday for the funeral of Beau Biden, the vice president's son and a politician in his own right. President Obama delivered a eulogy at the funeral Mass, acknowledging the Bidens as members of his own family. "We are here to grieve with you but more importantly we are here because we love you," Obama told the packed church.
The president reaffirmed Beau Biden's commitment to public service, praising him as an "original" and a "man of character." Obama lamented that his untimely passing has "left a gaping hole in the world." The president also assured the Biden family that he and Michelle "are here for you" during their time of grief.
Beau Biden died last Saturday at the age of 46 after a long battle with brain cancer. He is survived by his father and stepmother, Joe and Jill Biden, his wife, Hallie, and his children, Natalie and Hunter.The attorney general of Delaware until early 2015, Beau Biden was a well-known politician in his home state — much like his father — and was believed to be the front-runner for Delaware governor in 2016. A member of the Delaware National Guard, Beau Biden served his county in other ways, completing a tour in Iraq. He also served as a major in the Judge Advocate General's Corps, which provides legal services for the U.S. Army.
In a statement last week announcing his son's death, the vice president said he was "the finest man any of us have ever known." This is the second child Joe Biden has lost; his daughter, Naomi, died in a crash in 1972 along with his first wife, Neila.
Police honor Beau Biden.
A procession of law enforcement officers march down a street in Wilmington, Delaware.
The Biden family arrives.
Vice President Joe Biden arrives at his son’s funeral with his wife, Jill Biden, Beau’s wife, Hallie, and Beau’s surviving children, Hunter and Natalie.
The Delaware community honors Beau Biden.
Residents gathered on the streets of Wilmington not far from the church to say goodbye to Beau Biden. The Bidens have been considered “the Delaware family” and have long been admired in the small Mid-Atlantic state.
God Loves Beau
A well-wisher holds a sign of love for Beau Biden and the Biden family.
A somber moment for the Obamas
President Obama, Michelle Obama and their family attended Beau Biden’s funeral.
St. Anthony of Padua Roman Catholic Church, Wilmington, Delaware
A member of the National Guard patrols the front of St. Anthony of Padua in Wilmington, Delaware, where Beau Biden lived and worked.
A moment of public grief
Vice President Joe Biden leads his family into St. Anthony of Padua Church on Saturday.
Mourners in waiting
Beau Biden’s funeral drew crowds of Delaware residents and national politicians alike.
Mourners send a prayer.
About 1,000 people packed the pews of St. Anthony of Padua, leaving no seat empty.
A father bids farewell.
Joe Biden, Jill Biden and Hallie Biden lead the funeral procession out of the church.
The final procession.
Catholic clergy and altar servers pause outside St. Anthony of Padua Church on Saturday following the funeral Mass for Beau Biden.
A Washington tribute for Beau Biden
The flag hovering over the White House in Washington, D.C., flew at half-mast on Saturday in honor of Beau Biden.