President-elect Joe Biden participated in a farewell ceremony as he left Delaware on Tuesday, recalling that the last time he left the state for an inauguration was as vice-president-elect in 2008.
“Twelve years ago, I was waiting at the train station in Wilmington for a black man to pick me up on our way to Washington, where we were sworn in as president and vice president of the United States of America,” Biden said.
Biden recalled that he was inspired by the moment and spoke to his sons Beau and Hunter about the significance of the event.
“I said, ‘Don’t tell me things can’t change,” he recalled telling his sons. “They can and they do. That’s America. That’s Deleware, a place of hope and light and endless possibilities.”
Biden recalled that his runningmate Kamala Harris was also making history.
“Here we are today, my family and I, about to return to Washington to meet a black woman of south Asian descent to be sworn in as president and vice president of the United States,” he said.
Biden was emotional during his speech, tearing up as he first took the stage at the National Guard Major Joseph R. “Beau” Biden III National Guard center, named for his deceased son.
“I only have one regret, that he’s not here,” Biden said. “We should be introducing him as president.”
The president-elect quoted a saying attributed to the Irish poet James Joyce, who said Dublin would be “written on his heart when he died.”
“Well, excuse the emotion,” Biden said as he held back tears. “But when I die, Delaware will be written on my heart.”