Beau Biden died in 2015 at 46 from brain cancer

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As Joe Biden was sworn in as president in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday, the memory of his late son Beau Biden was kept alive in his home state.

Just as the new president, 78, was taking the oath of office, journalist Patricia Talorico was driving by Beau's grave at the Catholic church St. Joseph in Greenville, Delaware.

Talorico saw a lone uniformed person kneeling at Beau's grave as she drove past, and she shot some photos as the man "bowed his head and clasped his hands," she wrote for the Delaware News Journal on Wednesday.

The journalist, who said she ran in similar circles as Beau during his time as the state's attorney general, said that the scene brought tears to her eyes.

Her photo and the story behind it were widely shared on social media.

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While Joe Biden gave his inauguration speech on Wednesday, a lone man in a blue uniform kneeled at the grave of Biden’s son Beau at St. Joseph on the Brandywine church in Greenville, Delaware.
| Credit: Patricia Talorico/USA TODAY NETWORK
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From left: Joe Biden, Dr. Jill Biden, Beau Biden and Hallie Biden in 2012
| Credit: David Lienemann/The White House

"The journalist in me wanted to go back and find out his identity and ask why he was there. The person who once received a kind gesture from Beau when I needed it most knew it was a time to be respectful, and I drove away," Talorico wrote. "Some things in life you just let be."

The mystery man showing his respects at Beau's gravesite wasn't the only person with the former National Guardsman on their mind on Inauguration Day.

On Tuesday, a sentimental detail was confirmed when Biden transition officials told reporters that one "Beau Biden" — Hunter Biden's now-8½-month-old son with wife Melissa Cohen — was among family members flying with the incoming president from Delaware to Washington, D.C., for the inauguration. The younger Beau was named after Hunter's late brother.

Additionally, Biden arranged family photos behind the Resolute Desk as soon as he moved into the Oval Office — including a 2009 shot of Beau.

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President Joe Biden signed executive orders in the Oval Office soon after he was sworn in last month
| Credit: Evan Vucci/AP/Shutterstock

Beau died in 2015 at age 46 of brain cancer. After his death, the elder Biden decided he could not run for president in the 2016 election because he and his family were still in the throes of grief.

"Look, dealing with the loss of Beau, any parent listening who's lost a child, knows that you can't — it doesn't follow schedules of primaries and caucuses and contributors. Everybody grieves at a different pace," Biden said at the time.

Jill Biden, Hunter Biden, his infant son with wife Melissa Cohen and other members of President-elect Joe Biden's family attend a farewell ceremony at the Major Joseph R. "Beau" Biden III National Guard/Reserve Center January 19, 2021
Dr. Jill Biden, Hunter Biden, his infant son with wife Melissa Cohen and other members of President Joe Biden's family attend a farewell ceremony at the Major Joseph R. "Beau" Biden III National Guard/Reserve Center in Delaware in January.
| Credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty

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On Tuesday, Biden gave his departure speech from the Major Joseph R. "Beau" Biden, III National Guard Reserve Center in New Castle, Delaware, which is named for his late son.

"I only have one regret, he's not here" Biden said in the emotional speech. "Because we should be introducing him as president."