Beau Biden leaves a legacy of patriotism regardless of how anyone views his politics. Beau, the son of Vice President Joe Biden, died May 30 at 46 years old after a battle with brain cancer. Tributes from both liberals and conservatives have poured in, signifying that Biden was viewed as much for his military and public service as he was for his politics.
He was most noted for his last time of service as the Attorney General of Delaware. Yet, he served in many more ways. Joseph Robinette “Beau” Biden III was also an Army Jag Officer, in the Delaware National Guard and an attorney.
One thing many may not realize about the late politician is just how deep his commitment to this country ran. He was elected at Delaware’s attorney general in 2006 and was a captain in the Army National Guard in 2008 when he was told he would be deployed to Iraq. His deployment date was in October in the middle of the presidential election in which his father was the running mate to presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama.
He deployed. He did not attempt to get out of it, even though the law gave him a lot of leeway to avoid military service. He could have claimed exemption because he was serving at Delaware’s attorney general, but he did not. Instead, he served an 18-month tour in Iraq as so many brave men and women did. He served honorably and then came home to continue his service to the state. Biden when on to serve as attorney general though his early diagnosis and treatment in 2010 and 2013. He decided to not run for that office again in 2014 in order to pursue the governor’s race. He participated in a conference call on a political issue just a few weeks ago in the middle of his latest health crisis, according to news reports.
The Delaware politician wanted gun control and focused on tracking and prosecuting sex offenders. He also served as legal counsel to the Department of Justice in post-war Kosovo. While conservatives fought him on liberal issues like gun control, opponents had no choice but to respect him because of his dutiful service in so many areas.
The tributes came from obvious admirers like presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and Sen. Harry Reid. Clinton said he served with courage. Reid called him “wonderful, strong and courageous.” Yet, some of the tributes came from unexpected sources like former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and Sen. Rick Santorum. All commend him for his service and extend sympathy to the entire family. That is part of Biden’s legacy of patriotism.
Constitutes felt the same way. One publicly stated that she disagreed with virtually everything the attorney general stood for politically, but respected him simply because of his time spent in Iraq. There are too many times that Americans view someone’s worth based solely on their personal beliefs. This is not the case with Biden. It is a tribute of honor when so many politicians opted to find an easy way out of service in order to pursue political ambitions. It is a testament to what is good and right in America.
President Obama issued a statement that most in America would agree with. “Beau Biden believed the best of us all. For him, and for his family, we swing our lanterns higher,” the president said. The Obamas went to be with the vice president and his family this weekend.
That is Beau Biden’s legacy of patriotism – that he served. It is an honorable legacy that reaches far beyond any bill passed or defended in court. That is ultimately how he will be remembered. This is what all in this country should strive to reach.
Opinion by Melody Dareing
ABC News: Beau Biden Passes Away:Tributes Pour In
CNN: Beau Biden, son of Vice President and former Delaware AG, dies at 46
US News: Beau Biden, son of Joe Biden, dies of brain cancer at age 46; had survived personal adversity
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