Biden Delivers Love Letter to Delaware, Remembers Son Beau as He Leaves for Inauguration

Joe Biden delivered an emotional tribute to his home state of Delaware and choked up remembering his late son, Beau, before departing for Washington, D.C., where he'll be sworn in as the United States' 46th president in less than 24 hours.

"In our family, the values we share, the character we strive for, the way we view the world—it all comes from home, from Delaware," Biden said in his nearly 7-minute address before boarding a plane to travel to the nation's capital. "When I die, Delaware will be written on my heart."

Biden represented Delaware in the U.S. Senate for more than three decades until he became vice president to Barack Obama in 2009.

The incoming president said his only regret before his departure was that Beau wasn't able to attend the festivities. Beau Biden died of brain cancer in 2015.

"We should be introducing him as president," Biden said, wiping away tears, in front of the small gathering of friends and family members near his home in Wilmington.

Beau Biden, who was viewed as a rising star in Democratic politics, was an officer in the Delaware Army National Guard and served as the state's attorney general. Joe Biden gave his farewell address from a National Guard Reserve Center that bears Beau Biden's name.

"It's deeply personal that our next journey to Washington starts here," Joe Biden said Tuesday.

Biden notoriously rode the Amtrak train from Delaware to D.C. during his time in Congress. Security concerns prevented him from being able to repeat the tradition on Tuesday.

"I will always be a proud son of the state of Delaware," he said.

Biden is expected to give speech of 20 to 30 minutes after he's sworn in on the Capitol steps Wednesday. Advisers to the president-elect told Newsweek and other reporters that his speech will focus on the need for unity and his goals for his administration.

"As the president-elect would often say on the campaign trail, there is nothing this country cannot do when we do it together," said the adviser, who wasn't authorized to speak on the record about Biden's plans.

Biden's inaugural team has scheduled a memorial to the more than 400,000 people who have died of COVID-19 to take place Tuesday evening, followed by a star-studded celebration that will be streamed online and air on television.

Biden's inaugural activities have been dramatically scaled back because of the ongoing pandemic, with his advisers suggesting that he may have a larger event later this year as vaccines become more widely available and slow the spread of COVID-19.

Joe Biden
President-Elect Joe Biden wipes a tear as he speaks at the Major Joseph R. "Beau" Biden III National Guard Reserve Center on January 19 in New Castle, Delaware, before departing for his inauguration in Washington, D.C. JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty