Rep. Schwartzkopf Honors Former AG Beau Biden

The following are prepared remarks that House Speaker Pete Schwartzkopf delivered today at the ceremony at Legislative Hall to honor former Attorney General Beau Biden, who passed away last week: 

To the rest of the world, you are the Vice President of the United States.

To the people in this room, you are just Joe, you’re our Joe.

Joe, Jill, Hallie and the entire Biden family, on behalf of the members of the Delaware House of Representatives, I offer our sincerest condolences.  We mourn with you and we cry with you as we remember our too-short time with Beau.  He was such a great person and a good friend to all of us.

Beau will always be remembered for his love of family.  The closeness, loyalty and love that you have for each other is a Biden trademark.  If someone crossed one of you, they crossed the entire family.  

From this family, Beau emerged with a sense of fairness and empathy and the desire to serve the public.  Beau was a good man that cared tremendously about everyone else, especially children.  Hallie, whenever Beau and I had an opportunity to talk, we always talked about family.  He always spoke of you and the kids and he would ask about my grandkids because your Hunter and my Oliver are the same age.

When Beau was elected Attorney General, his love for children put him on a mission to craft laws to protect our children.  The centerpiece of his legacy in public service will be that he took on some of the worst criminals and protected the children of our state, especially those who could not speak for themselves.  He earned my respect and my loyalty when he put aside his lifelong dream of going to Washington and ran for re-election because in his words to me “I can’t leave those kids and their parents when they need me the most.” 

Our children live in a safer state because of Beau Biden.

All of us in this room have stories and memories about Beau which we will cherish forever, whether it was discussing legislation, helping out with one of our campaigns or discussing our families.  With Beau, everything was personal and he treated legislators and staff alike with respect and kindness.

I want to put it into perspective how well known Beau was and how intertwined the Biden family has been in the lives of Delawareans for the past 45 years.

If I said one word – Beau – everyone throughout the state would immediately know who I was talking about.  It reveals the strength of your family’s commitment to each other and your family’s commitment to public service to the people of Delaware.

I remember one day, I got a phone call. Beau had been driving by and saw my car. There weren’t many people in Leg Hall that day. He called me up, I answered the phone and he said, “Hey, are you in the office?” I said yes. He said, “Do you mind if I stop by?” I said come on up, so he showed up, walked in and was in his military fatigues. He came in, I said “What’s up?” and he said “Nothing, I just want to come in and give you a hug.

I said, “That’s it? You want to give me a hug?” He said, “That’s it. You’re my friend and I don’t get to see you that often.

That’s the Beau that I knew.  That’s the Beau that Carol and I love and that’s the Beau that we will miss and will always remember.

Sleep well Beau.