Hear how Joe Biden honored son Beau weeks before his death

Joe Biden Honors Beau In Commencement Speech Weeks Before His Death

Just two weeks before Beau Biden died from brain cancer, Vice President Joe Biden talked about his son during a commencement speech at Yale University.

The speech was like many others given during graduation ceremonies — full of advice, personal stories and even a few quips.

But Biden also quietly honored his son without ever bringing up his illness.

He first mentioned his family while recalling a car crash decades earlier that took his wife and one-year-old daughter. Beau and his brother Hunter were critically injured.


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Hear how Joe Biden honored son Beau weeks before his death
Attorney General of Delaware and Son of Vice President Joe Biden Beau Biden waves at the Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte, North Carolina, on September 6, 2012 on the final day of the Democratic National Convention (DNC). US President Barack Obama is expected to accept the nomination from the DNC to run for a second term as president. AFP PHOTO Robyn BECK (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/GettyImages)
CHARLOTTE, NC - SEPTEMBER 06: Attorney General of Delaware Beau Biden gestures on stage during the final day of the Democratic National Convention at Time Warner Cable Arena on September 6, 2012 in Charlotte, North Carolina. The DNC, which concludes today, nominated U.S. President Barack Obama as the Democratic presidential candidate. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON - SEPTEMBER 28: Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden speaks during the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition conference on Spetember 28, 2010 in Washington, DC. The U.S. Global Leadership Coalition (USGLC) is a broad-based influential network of 400 businesses and NGOs and national security and foreign policy experts who support a smart approach of elevating diplomacy and development alongside defense in order to build a safer world. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
WILMINGTON, DE - OCTOBER 29: U.S. Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) (L) and Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden talk after campaigning for Delaware Democratic Senate nominee Chris Coons outside the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 475 October 29, 2010 in Newark, Delaware. Coons is polling in double digits ahead of his opponent Republican Senate nominee Christine O'Donnell going into the last four days of campaigning before Tuesday's midterm elections. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
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"I can remember my mother looking at me after we left the hospital and saying, 'Joey, out of everything terrible that happens to you, something good will come if you look hard enough for it.'"

The vice president said that the good he found was realizing that he needed to focus on his sons, who he called his 'redemption.' He was sworn into Congress at the hospital in Delaware and commuted to Washington daily until they were released.

"The incredible bond I have with my children is a gift I'm not sure I would have had, had I not been through what I went through."

He used Hunter as an example of the advantages that come with being a Yale graduate — and Beau as an example of what hard work can achieve.

"My Yale Law School grad son graduated very well from Yale Law School. My other son out of loyalty to his deceased mother decided to go to Syracuse Law School from Penn...The one who graduated from Yale had doors open to him, the lowest salary offered back in the early '90s was $50,000 more than a federal judge made. My other son, it was a struggle — equally as bright, went on to be elected one of the youngest attorney generals in the history of the state of Delaware, the most popular public official in my state. Big headline after the 2012 election, "Biden Most Popular Man in Delaware — Beau."


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