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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.

Biden talks about his son Beau at UD book stop

The Biden Institute
Former Vice President Joe Biden

Former Vice President Joe Biden discussed his new memoir Thursday at the University of Delaware.

Occasionally wiping away tears, he answered questions from family friend and novelist Lea Carpenter about his book “Promise Me, Dad: A Year of Hope, Hardship, and Purpose.”

The book celebrates the life of his son and former Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden - an Iraq War veteran who died in 2015 from brain cancer.

“When the effort in Afghanistan began, excuse me in Iraq began, I got a call from Beau," he told the audience. "He said ‘Dad what are you doing on Friday' and I said ‘What do you want me to do?' He said ‘Can you be at such and such a place. I said ‘What for Beau?' He said ‘I want you to pin my bars on.’ I said what? He said ‘I joined the National Guard, I joined the Army.'”

Biden said he learned to cope with grief when his wife and daughter were killed in a car crash in 1972. His sons Beau and Hunter were injured in the crash.

Beau Biden served in the Iraq before he was elected for two terms as Delaware’s Attorney General. He was diagnosed with a brain tumor in 2013 and died two years later.

Biden said people can recover from tragic events to find purpose and meaning. This message resonates with UD doctoral student Hira Rashid.

“Some of the grief and loss stuff he talked about. I feel like that’s been, I feel like that’s really nice," she said. "My mom was diagnosed with cancer and so I like really understand where he’s coming from, like some of the struggles that are associated with dealing with a severe illness like that and something as chronic like that.”

The former vice president decided against a 2016 run for president after Beau’s death. He didn't address whether he’ll run for president again in 2020, but he said recently that while he has no plans to run, he hasn’t entirely ruled it out.

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