Vice President Biden gave an emotional speech to a group of “Gold Star Families” on Friday, those who have lost a loved one in the military, at an event commemorating Memorial Day in Washington, D.C. The vice president told attendees about the death of his wife and daughter when he was 29 years old and tried to assure those who have lost a family member in war that the memory of their loved one will one day bring “a smile to your lips before it brings a tear to your eye”:
BIDEN: Looking at your kids, most you have kids here, and it was the first time in my career, my life, I realized someone could go out and I probably shouldn’t say this with the press here — but it’s more important, you’re more important.
For the first time in my life I understood how someone could consciously decide to commit suicide. Not because they were deranged, not because they were nuts, because they had been to the top of the mountain and they just knew in their heart, they never get there again, that there was never going to get — there never going to be that way ever again. That’s how an awful lot you have feel.
There will come a day, I promise you, and you parents as well, when the thought of your son or daughter or your husband or wife brings a smile to your lips before it brings a tear to your eye. It will happen. [...]
So, hang onto each other. Hang onto each other. And I can’t tell you, I can’t tell you how deeply the five of us on this stage feel about the sacrifices you’ve made for this country. That doesn’t — that doesn’t fill the black hole. You should know only 1 percent of you have fought these wars and much less thank God than 1 percent of those that fought the wars are going through what you’re going through.
We owe you more than we can ever, ever repay you. As I said, my prayer is that that smile will come sooner than later, but I promise you it will come. God bless you all and my God protect our troops. Thank you.
MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow aired a clip of Biden’s speech: