President Obama's voice cracked, and he reached for a handkerchief.
"He made you want to be a better person," he said of Beau Biden, the eldest son of the vice president. "Isn't that finally the measure of a man? The way he lives, the way he treats others, no matter what life may throw at him."
Obama delivered a deeply moving eulogy Saturday at the funeral of Vice President Joe Biden's son, Beau, who died May 30 at 46 from brain cancer. It was a speech he wrote himself, aides say, and his heartfelt admiration for Beau and the Biden family showed as he choked up throughout, calling Beau an "original" who "loved deeply and was loved in return."
While it's easy to make a name for yourself "if you're loud enough, or controversial enough," Obama said, Beau "brushed away the possibility of privilege for the harder, better reward of earning his own way."
"To get that name to mean something, to have it associated with dignity and integrity, that is rare. There is no shortcut to get it," he said. "But if you do right by your children, maybe you can pass it on."
Obama called the vice president the night Beau died, and was asked to give voice to the Bidens' grief at Saturday's mass of Christian burial at St. Anthony of Padua Church in Wilmington, Delaware. The honor reflects the deep bond the two men have forged over seven years in the White House, one of political partnership, but also family bonding and shared grief.