In 'Promise Me, Dad,' Joe Biden Writes That The Family Of Fallen Police Officer Wenjian Liu Came To Comfort Them At Beau's Funeral
High-ranking politicians often pay visits to constituents who have lost family members in combat or in a national tragedy, but it's not quite so often that they return the favor. In his new memoir, Promise Me, Dad, Joe Biden writes that the family of fallen police officer Wenjian Liu came to comfort his family at Beau Biden's funeral in 2015.
On Dec. 20, 2014, NYPD officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos were murdered in their patrol car. At the time of his death, 32-year-old Liu was a newlywed who had recently purchased "a house big enough for his parents to live with him and his new bride," in Biden's words. He and his wife had talked about having children, but had not done so before he died. His wife Pei Xia Chen, who goes by Sanny, gave birth to her husband's daughter, Angelina, in Summer 2017, using sperm collected posthumously.
Biden and his wife, Jill, visited the Liu family in their home after Wenjian's death. Sanny translated for the fallen officer's parents, who felt more comfortable speaking Cantonese than English. In her bedroom, Sanny kept a picture of herself and her husband at their wedding, which had taken place only three months before he was murdered. Biden recognized something in Sanny Liu's sadness: the feeling he had felt, some 40 years earlier, when his first wife and young daughter were killed in an auto accident.
Biden writes that the language barrier prevented Liu's father, Wei Tang, from communicating his pain in the wake of his son's death, and that all the man could say to the vice president was "Thank you," over and over again. A few months later, Biden would lose his son, Beau, to brain cancer, and Biden would find himself in similar circumstances:
Pick up Joe Biden's memoir, Promise Me, Dad, at your favorite bookstore on Tuesday. The audiobook version, read by the author, is available exclusively on Audible.