President-elect Joe Biden bid farewell to his home state of Delaware in an emotional speech on Tuesday, before he headed down to the nation's capital ahead of his inauguration.
Biden had hoped to travel to the capital by train, just as he did for decades as a U.S. senator, and like he and Barack Obama did before their 2009 inauguration. Security concerns nixed the train trip, though, so Biden is flying instead into Joint Base Andrews. He acknowledged the history being made, back then by a black man alongside him, and now by a biracial Asian-African woman.
Biden spoke from the Major Joseph R. "Beau" Biden III National Guard/Reserve Center in New Castle, where he headquartered his presidential campaign and later his transition.
"Excuse the emotion, but when I die, Delaware will be written on my heart. And the hearts of all. We love you all. You've been there for us in the good and the bad. You never walked away. And I am proud, proud, proud to be a son of Delaware," Biden said while trying to contain his emotions.
Biden also teared up a bit while honoring his late son, Beau, who died of brain cancer in 2015. He said, "Ladies and gentlemen, I only have one regret, that he isn't here. Because we should be introducing him as president."
Biden has always commented his son's death was a major motivating factor in his decision to run for president.
After arriving in Washington, Biden went directly to an evening ceremony at the Reflecting Pool near the Lincoln Memorial to honor and mourn American lives lost to Covid-19. He was joined by Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, who spoke of the collective anguish of a nation