What we’ll remember from Beau Biden’s funeral

Updated 5:58 PM EDT, Sun June 7, 2015
CNN —  

Former Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden, oldest son of Vice President Joe Biden, was remembered Saturday for his compassion at a funeral that revealed the man behind the public servant.

The nation followed along as Biden’s siblings and President Barack Obama shared memories of the Iraq War veteran, who died May 30 of brain cancer at 46.

He was remembered not only for his public service, but for donning a sombrero at Thanksgiving and playing the New Radicals song “You Get What You Give” after chemotherapy.

Through it all, he put others before himself, they said.

Here are some memorable moments from the service in Wilmington.

Coldplay frontman Chris Martin heard through a family friend that Biden liked his music and volunteered to attend the ceremony, a White House official said.

Chris Martin performs

He performed an acoustic version of the band’s song “Til Kingdom Come” before the ceremony ended with a prayer.

Coldplay frontman Chris Martin performs at Beau Biden's funeral.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais/Pool/AP
Coldplay frontman Chris Martin performs at Beau Biden's funeral.

Obama’s eulogy

The President struggled for composure at several points during his tribute.

Obama began with a reflection on a car accident early in Beau Biden’s life that killed his mother and sister. Instead of letting the childhood trauma harden him, Biden followed his father’s example to live a “life of meaning” in the service of others.

“He would ask God for broader shoulders,” Obama said. “The cruelty in his life made him compassionate and empathetic.”

He described Biden as a man of character who did not see himself as higher or lower than anyone else, despite his family name. He did not cut corners to build his political career, turning down an appointment as Delaware attorney general so he could run instead.

Biden’s father was his role model but he was “an original” who distinguished himself from his family’s legacy.

“That’s what our country was built on: Men like Beau,” he said.

“Beau Biden brought to his work a mighty heart, he brought to his family a mighty heart.”

01:35 - Source: CNN
Obama tears up remembering Beau Biden

The hug

Obama’s admiration for Biden’s father echoed throughout his eulogy, culminating in a warm hug between the two after Obama left the podium.

In his eulogy, Obama credited the vice president with inspiring in his son a devotion to public service and to family, jokingly calling him “Joe 2.0.”

“It’s no secret that a lot of what made Beau the way he was was that he loved and admired his dad,” he said.

“Joe, you are my brother, and I am grateful every day you have got such a big heart, and a big soul, and those broad shoulders. I could not admire you more.”

01:00 - Source: CNN
Obama hugs, kisses Biden after eulogy

Hunter Biden’s eulogy

Social media praised Biden’s siblings, Ashley Biden and Hunter Biden, for delivering moving tributes to their brother.

“Being with family was Beau’s favorite pastime,” Ashley Biden said. “He always wanted us around and we always wanted to be around him.”

Hunter Biden began his eulogy by addressing his brother’s children, telling them they would always have the support of their family.

“We will always be one family,” he said. “You are at the center of the greatest love.”

He also shared his first memory of his brother, when he was in hospital after the car crash that killed his mother. He remembered his brother holding his hand and repeating “I love you, I love you.”

As Biden was on his deathbed, his brother returned the gesture, he said.

“I held his hand, and he took his last breath.”

01:17 - Source: CNN
'I held his hand, and he took his last breath'