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President Honors Memory of Beloved Son Beau

US President Joe Biden (Via Joe Biden/Twitter)

US President Joe Biden marked the eighth anniversary of the death of his son Beau with a private memorial Mass and a visit to his grave. The ceremony was attended by his wife Jill, other family members, and took place at St Joseph on the Brandywine, the Roman Catholic church where the president worships during weekends at his home near Wilmington, Delaware. During the Mass, the family prayed for Beau Biden, who died of brain cancer at the age of 46 in 2015. After the service, they visited Beau’s grave in the church cemetery, where the first lady carried a bouquet of flowers.

The president’s annual tradition of paying his respects to his son continued with a visit to Veterans Memorial Park in New Castle, where he laid flowers. Beau Biden served two terms as Delaware attorney general and was considering a run for governor before his untimely death. He also served in Delaware’s Army National Guard, including a deployment to Iraq, where he was exposed to toxic gases from burn pits. The president has linked his son’s cancer to his exposure to these pits.

US President Joe Biden (Via Joe Biden/Twitter)

Beau Biden was the eldest of Joe Biden’s three children, and his death was a devastating blow to the family. His mother, Neilia, was killed in a car crash in 1972 that also gravely injured Beau and his younger brother Hunter, and killed their baby sister. Beau’s daughter, Natalie, recently graduated from high school, with her grandparents in attendance.

While the anniversary of Beau’s death was marked privately, the president publicly mourned his son during a Memorial Day address at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia. In his speech, Biden remembered the pain of his son’s loss, saying, “The pain of his loss is with us every day, but particularly sharp on Memorial Day. It’s still clear… Tomorrow is his anniversary. But so is the pride Jill and I feel in his service, as if I can still hear him saying, ‘Dad, it’s my duty. It’s my duty.'”

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