The next president of the United States included a very special secret tribute to his late son Beau Biden in last night’s victory speech, five years after Beau’s tragic death from brain cancer.
Joe Biden joined his new Vice President-elect for their joint speeches late on Saturday night, hours after the race to the White House was declared in their favour.
And as an orange-faced Donald Trump continued furiously tantruming from the golf course, Joe and Kamala Harris’ win sent Americans out into the street across the country to dance, honk horns and cheer the dawn of a new – and more hopeful – political era.
President-elect Biden’s heartwarming speech spoke of healing a fractured nation, and as he finished, confetti exploded from above the stage as Coldplay’s Sky Full Of Stars rang out across the socially distanced victory party.
Picking Coldplay as the exit music was a decision taken with his beloved Beau in mind. Politician Beau, who had served in Iraq, counted Coldplay as his favourite band while he was alive, and frontman Chris Martin even performed at his funeral in 2015.
Chris had played an acoustic version of Til Kingdom Come from the band’s X&Y album, accompanied by the poignant sound of the church organ as mourners including Barack and Michelle Obama came to say goodbye to Beau.
Joe had described his son as “quite simply, the finest man any of us have ever known”, and invoked his legacy frequently on the campaign trail.
“Beau should be the one running for President” he told Joe Scarbough when he appeared on MSNBC talk show Morning Joe in January.
“Every morning I and I think to myself, ‘Is he proud of me?’. He walks with me. I know that sounds to some people kind of silly.”
In March when Pete Buttigieg, mayor of South Bend, Indiana, withdrew from the Democratic primary race, Joe warmly accepted the mayor’s endorsement by saying: “He reminds me of my son, Beau, and I know that may not mean much to most people, but to me, it’s the highest compliment I can give any man or woman.”
Running mate Kamala’s selection was also influenced by Beau, who had known her from their time as Attorney Generals in California and Delaware respectively.
The two had been close friends who at one point spoke every day.
At their first joint campaign event in August, Biden said: “I know how much Beau respected Kamala and her work, and that mattered a lot to me, to be honest with you, as I made this decision.”
Beau died five years after first showing symptoms of a brain tumour, which was only found in August 2013.
He had a lesion removed and underwent gruelling radiation and chemotherapy treatments to stablise the spread, but in May 2015 it came back and doctors found it was incurable.
Just 10 days later, Beau died at the age of 46. He is survived by his wife Hallie Olivere and their children Natalie Naomi and Robert Biden II.