Joe Biden at John McCain Funeral Service: Best Quotes About Former Arizona Senator During Memorial

Vice President Joe Biden delivered a long, emotional eulogy at Senator John McCain's Arizona memorial service Thursday morning. Biden had been close friends with McCain for decades, and his son Beau died three years ago of the same aggressive brain cancer, glioblastoma, that took McCain's life.

"My name's Joe Biden," he began the speech. "I'm a Democrat, and I loved John McCain."

Below are some of the most memorable moments from Biden's eulogy.

  • "I always thought of John as a brother. We had a hell of a lot of family fights. We go back a long way. Above all, we understood the same thing. All politics is personal. It's all about trust. I trusted John with my life."
  • "The disease that took John's life—that took our friend Ted Kennedy's life, that took my son Beau's life—is brutal, relentless, unforgiving. It takes so much from those we love—and from the families who love them—that in order to survive we have to remember how they lived, not how they died."
  • "There's nothing anyone can say or do to ease the pain right now. But I pray you take some comfort knowing that because you shared John with all of us your whole life, the world now shares with you in the ache of John's death."
  • "Character is destiny. John had character. While others will miss his leadership, passion, even his stubbornness, you are going to miss that hand on your shoulder. Family, you are going to miss the man, faithful man as he was, who you knew would literally give his life for you. And for that, there's no balm but time. Time and your memories of a life lived well and lived fully."
  • "But I make you a promise. I promise you the time will come, that what's going to happen is, six months will go by and everybody is going to think, Well, it's passed. But you are going to ride by that field or smell that fragrance or see that flashing image. You are going to feel like you did the day you got the news. But you know you are going to make it. The image of your dad, your husband, your friend. It crosses your mind, and a smile comes to your lips before a tear to your eye. That's who you know. I promise you, I give you my word, I promise you, this I know. The day will come. That day will come."
  • "John's story is an American story. It's not hyperbole. It's the American story, grounded in respect and decency, basic fairness, the intolerance through the abuse of power."
  • "His belief, and it was deep, that Americans can do anything, withstand anything, achieve anything, was both unflagging and reassuring that this man believed it so strongly."
  • "Bottom line was, I think John believed in us. I think he believed in the American people. Not just all the preambles. He believed in the American people, all 325 million of us. Even though John is no longer with us, he left us clear instructions. 'Believe always in the promise and greatness of America because nothing is inevitable here.'"
  • "To paraphrase Shakespeare, We shall not see his like again."