Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
It has been a week of sadness in the First State. Last weekend, former state attorney general Beau Biden – the eldest son of Vice President Joe Biden - died at age 46, losing his battle with brain cancer.Since that terrible news came there’s been an outpouring of condolences for the Biden family, along with remembrances of Beau -- his life and work.As the state grieves along with the Biden family and offers its support – it also celebrates Beau Biden’s life and the lasting legacy of public service he leaves behind.

Beau Biden remembered in Memorial Day dedication of National Guard headquarters

Delaware’s National Guard headquarters in New Castle was dedicated to the late Beau Biden Monday.


Music from the 287th Army band and the National Anthem sung by the National Guard’s choir opened Monday’s public ceremony in New Castle.


The Major Joseph R “Beau” Biden III National Guard/Reserve Center recognizes the former state attorney general’s service in the Guard for over a decade.

Credit Megan Pauly / Delaware Public Media
Delaware Public Media
A service Monday afternoon dedicated Delaware's National Guard headquarters to the late major Beau Biden III.


Vice President Joe Biden and his family attended the dedication. Gov. Jack Markell joined the Vice President and others in recalling Beau Biden and his legacy.


“True heroism is remarkably sober, undramatic. It’s not the urge to surpass all others at whatever cost but the urge to serve others at whatever the cost," Markell said. "And these words spoken by Arthur Ashe eloquently describe the passions of the man we celebrate today.”

Major General Frank Vavala was among those remembering the former Delaware Attorney General before the unveiling of new signage for the Delaware National Guard headquarters, now known as the Major Joseph R “Beau” Biden III National Guard/ Reserve Center.


“Major Beau Biden was truly a beautiful soul," Vavala said. "He was undoubtedly the most morally upright person that I have ever known. And he had no fear to express himself in terms of endearment. He would always tell me unabashedly in all errant encounters that he loved me, and I loved him.”


Vice President Biden was the final speaker, expressing his gratitude for outpouring of community support over the last two years.

Credit Megan Pauly / Delaware Public Media
Delaware Public Media
Services members sing along to The Service Song at the conclusion of Monday's memorial service.


“The thing he was most proud of was wearing uniform," Biden said. "So on behalf of the whole family - particularly Hallie and Natalie and Hunter - I want to thank all of you for remembering our Beau today, particularly his brothers and sisters in uniform.”

Vice President Biden concluded his remarks by reading the last two lines of the poem Invictus he used to read to his kids: “I’m the master of my fate, I’m the captain of my soul.”  He said the U.S. Armed Services are America’s soul.


The Vice President talked with many service members and members of the public following the ceremony. He said he’s looking forward to another dedication in Kosovo where a boulevard is being named in Beau’s honor for his time as a rule of law adviser there after its war in the late 90s.


Beau Biden joined the National Guard in 2003, and was awarded numerous awards for his years of service, including the Legion of Merit Medal, and the Bronze Star Medal.


In 2008, Beau Biden deployed to Iraq with the Delaware National Guard’s 261st Signal Brigade during his tenure as Delaware Attorney General. After his return from Iraq in 2009, he was promoted to Major.


He actively served in the State Staff Judge Advocate’s office until his death one year ago.


He died of brain cancer a year ago at age 46.


Related Content