After losing a battle against brain cancer for nearly two years, Beau Biden passes away. The White House responds as a grieving family and Vice President Biden mourns as a father.
Beau Biden has passed away at the age of 46 from brain cancer at the Walter Reed National Military Memorial Hospital in Washington, D.C.
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Declaring Beau as "the finest man any of us has ever known," Vice President Joe Biden pointed out that "Beau's life was defined by service to others." The Democrat worked as Delaware's 44th Attorney General and while serving in the military as a Major in the Delaware National Guard, the veteran earned a Bronze Star.
The older son of the vice president joined the military in 2003 and was deployed during the 2008 presidential campaign. Attending the inauguration in January 2009, he returned back to Iraq to complete his year-long stint. Serving made Beau proud, but it wasn't what defined him.
Married to Hallie and father to Natalie and Hunter, the family is mourning in the grieving silence of the White House and nation.
Joseph Robinette Biden III "measured himself as a husband, father, son, and brother" foremost. That outlook made him "a role model for our family." A callback to Vice President Biden's own father, "Beau embodied my father's saying that a parent knows success when his child turns out better than he did."
And children became a deeply personal point to the Attorney General, where he enacted strict guidelines and "made it his mission to protect children from abuse."
Following his dad’s footsteps as a lawyer, he also worked in the Department of Justice in Philadelphia as Counsel to the Office of Policy Development and later Federal prosecutor in the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Service is not defined by war.
President Barack and First Lady Michelle Obama also put out a statement of condolence and grief. Calling Beau "a friend of ours," they also sent prayers to his family. A copy of his dad, the Obamas believe that "he lives on" in the hearts of people that were helped by the politician.
"Nothing made him prouder; nothing made him happier; nothing claimed a fuller focus on his love and devotion than his family." Family meant everything to Beau Biden. "Just like his dad."
Highlighting the fact that Joe Biden is "one of the strongest men we know" and that strength is defined by family. Losing his first wife Neilia Hunter and daughter Naomi Christina to an automobile accident in 1972, a month before taking Senatorial office, his sons Beau and Hunter became a lifeline. Even sworn into office by Beau and Hunter's bedside.
Speaking at Democratic National Convention in 2008, Beau described his father's love as all-encompassing. “He came to my bedside and my brother’s and he has never left it.” Tragedy tightened the bond, to the point the then-Senator would commute from D.C. and Wilmington, Delaware to be with his sons.
Family is everything for the Biden clan. Stepmother Jill Jacobs and half-sister Ashley rounded out the blended family. Commitment and dedication were not just empty campaign words for the man. It was a promise.
Beau believed in his father's way. In his father's direction and choice. The Delaware native also believed in doing good for the world around him. He had plans to run for the governor of Delaware in 2016, now a loss to those under his protection and perseverance.
Referencing the poet William Butler Yeats, the Obamas will "swing our lanterns higher" for counting Beau as family and friend.
In a moment of heartbreaking fatherhood, the vice president offered this measure of his son: Beau Biden “battled brain cancer with the same integrity, courage, and strength he demonstrated every day of his life.” Strength of character; strength of family; and strength of service.
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