Skip to main content

This is a speech that will rank up with the best ever given.  I love Joe.  

This Memorial Day Weekend, VP Joe Biden gave a speech to the families of those that have given their life for their country.  The speech was given at the opening session of the 18th Annual TAPS National Military Survivor Seminar.


Bidens Honor Survivors, Biden Shares Loss

By Lisa Daniel
American Forces Press Service
ARLINGTON, Va., May 25, 2012 – The first family of the military joined the second family of the United States here today in support of relatives of those who died while serving their country.
“We’re here to honor you this weekend,” Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, standing alongside his wife, Deanie, told some 2,000 people who gathered at a Marriott hotel to start the 18th annual TAPS National Military Survivor Seminar. TAPS, or Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors, is a nonprofit group that supports surviving families of fallen service members.
“Most Americans have not had the life-altering experience of being handed a folded flag like all of you have,” Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said.
“You are the face of these two wars” in Iraq and Afghanistan, Dempsey said. “We honor your sacrifice … and will never forget it.”
“We’re with you,” he added. “I promise you that.”
Dempsey said he was honored to share the stage with Vice President Joe Biden and his wife, Jill. “I can tell you, their heart is exactly where you want it to be,” he told the audience.
Looking out over a sea of red TAPS “Survivor” t-shirts, Biden shared his own personal story of loss with the audience. It was just a few weeks after his first election to the U.S. Senate on Dec. 18, 1972 when the call came into his Washington office that his wife and three very young children had been in a car crash.
“Just like you guys, you can tell by the tone of that phone call,” he said. “You can feel it in your bones.”
Biden was told that his wife, Neilia, and their one-year-old daughter, were both dead. “They were not sure if my sons would make it,” he told the hushed crowd.
“I know people meant well when they came up and said, ‘Joe, I know how you feel,’ but they didn’t have a damn idea,” he said as some clapped with empathy.
“For the first time in my life, I understood how someone could contemplate suicide,” Biden said. “Because you’ve been to the top of the mountain and you knew you’d never get there again.
“No parent should be pre-deceased by their son or daughter,” he added.
“I don’t know about you guys, but I was angry,” Biden said, adding that the devastation tested his faith as a Catholic.
Biden’s sons made a full recovery and he remarried in 1977. “This woman literally saved my life,” he said, reaching out to Jill next to him.
The vice president went on to say that he “has a wonderful family. They are always there for me. But there is still something gigantic missing.”
Each year, Biden said, Jill makes a wreath to commemorate the family’s loss and they take flowers to the cemetery.
“Your relationship with your family will be like a bond of steel,” Biden told the survivors. “You’ll see the depth of a relationship you never knew could happen.”
Speaking to those who’d lost spouses, the vice president said, “You’re going to go through periods where you will feel guilty as hell” by starting a new relationship. But, he added, “Keep thinking about what your husband or wife would want you to do.”
Biden urged the survivors to have hope. “It can and will get better. There will come a day, I promise, when your thoughts of your son or daughter or husband or wife will bring a smile to your face before it brings a tear.”

Originally posted to Olympia on Sat May 26, 2012 at 07:59 PM PDT.

Also republished by Military Community Members of Daily Kos, The Federation, Netroots For The Troops®, and Mojo Friday.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Angie in WA State, Sylv, TXdem, JR, Trix, Val, Sean Robertson, filkertom, teacherken, kaleidescope, NYmom, lost, newjeffct, Emerson, Wintermute, billlaurelMD, SanJoseLady, Stein, Mlle L, rubyr, freelunch, grover, Creosote, Bugsby, regis, JLFinch, DickCheneyBeforeHeDicksYou, BlackSheep1, mmacdDE, MJB, sngmama, Rona, evelette, Glinda, Cedwyn, Getreal1246, psnyder, TexDem, cosette, samoashark, Matt Esler, jj32, Sembtex, randallt, tomjones, Sybil Liberty, Timroff, sawgrass727, ExStr8, lcs, bloomer 101, Bluesee, marina, escapee, ichibon, caul, subtropolis, Lying eyes, Militarytracy, one of 8, Tod, Gary Norton, Pam from Calif, Sun Tzu, jimstaro, Inland, ladybug53, Robert in WV, markdd, SBandini, minidriver, Jlukes, quiet in NC, JanL, JanF, kathny, noweasels, accumbens, martini, gwilson, BachFan, chicagoblueohio, Clytemnestra, tung sol, HoundDog, wild hair, real world chick, Terminus, RussTC3, hlsmlane, Clive all hat no horse Rodeo, blueoregon, SD Goat, jjellin, Hedwig, DBunn, Sapere aude, Cronesense, Loudoun County Dem, camlbacker, offgrid, bfbenn, DvCM, la urracca, jeanette0605, Matt Z, Jimdotz, mbh1023, jayden, US Blues, SeaTurtle, OIL GUY, Beomoose, uciguy30, M Sullivan, Mighty Ike, condorcet, TX Freethinker, HappyinNM, Marko the Werelynx, ScottyUrb, Sharon Wraight, bluesheep, alnep, mofembot, wavpeac, glendaw271, luckylizard, My Spin, DixieDishrag, palantir, enufisenuf, Diogenes2008, SolarMom, Fonsia, litoralis, LinSea, not a cent, bobatkinson, ronnied, Michael James, be the change you seek, notrouble, WakeUpNeo, aunt blabby, moonbatlulu, MKSinSA, COwoman, hyper, Keith Pickering, Munchkn, stevenwag, 57andFemale, Tortmaster, nancat357, Livvy5, deviant24x, Larsstephens, tash123, Lefty Ladig, BlueOak, Amber6541, Sotally Tober, eXtina, Observerinvancouver, kjoftherock, on board 47, Crabby Abbey, angelajean, Polly Syllabic, mjbleo, My Left Behind, NM Ray, gulfgal98, bobscofield, apip0115, rja, ericlewis0, eclecta, cocinero, not4morewars, jtb583, agrenadier, spooks51, nervousnellie, bgblcklab1, sostos, OldGrammy, GammaRae, cleduc2, ncarolinagirl, marleycat, thomask, BarackStarObama, SueM1121, floridablue, mali muso, sound of progress, charcharczar, SteelerGrrl, rscopes, DRo, Mentatmark, CoyoteMarti, Auriandra, ParkRanger, mikeVA, AnnetteK, GrumpyOldGeek, absdoggy, Only Needs a Beat, jacey, stormicats, Liberal Granny, TheLizardKing, IndieGuy, Eric Nelson, tb92, Socratic Method, Lovepolitics2008, 2thanks, pot, Spirit Dancer, MartyM, pittie70, doroma, Vote4Obamain2012, rat racer, Artandscience, wasatch, mumtaznepal, ShoshannaD, Near Miss, GoGoGoEverton, nomandates, argomd, Thornrose, Setsuna Mudo, dhcallahan, weck, Southcoast Luna, Noctem Aeternus, parsonsbeach, Wisco Wherls, Milou, Icicle68, katiekitteh, Smoh, Avilyn

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site