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Obama: Beau Biden lived "a life for others"

More than a thousand people packed a church in Wilmington, Delaware on Saturday to celebrate the life of Beau Biden
More than a thousand people packed a church i... 02:49

President Obama paid his respects to Beau Biden, the son of Vice President Joe Biden, at funeral services held in Delaware Saturday morning.

"He would live a life of meaning, he would live a life for others," the president told a crowd gathered at St. Anthony of Padua Roman Catholic Church in Wilmington.

"You can beg God for a lighter burden, but if you're strong enough, it can also make you ask God for broader shoulders, shoulders broad enough to bear not only your own burdens but the burdens of others," Mr. Obama said. "To know Beau Biden is to know which choice he made in his own life. To know Joe and the rest of the Biden family is to understand why Beau lived the life he did."

President Obama nearly broke down as he spoke... 01:52

Beau Biden, Delaware's former attorney general, died of brain cancer last week at 46. He was the vice president's oldest son and the father of two.

The president touched on the vice president's close relationship with his son, who was critically injured in the 1972 car crash that killed his first wife, Neilia, and his infant daughter, Naomi. Hunter Biden, his other son, was also badly hurt.

Joe Biden, then the newly elected senator from Delaware, took his oath of office in the hospital at Beau's bedside.

The Coldplay frontman performed solo at the f... 03:46

"It's no secret that a lot of what made Beau the way he was -- was just how much he loved and admired his dad," Mr. Obama said. "He chased public service like his dad, believing it to be a noble and important pursuit."

The president lauded Beau Biden for having continued a life in elected office despite having "shunned the parlor games of Washington."

Several guests paid their respects to the Biden family, including Attorney General Loretta Lynch, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, and musician Chris Martin of the group Coldplay.

The former Delaware Attorney General lay in h... 02:25

Army Chief of Staff Gen. Raymond Odierno presented the younger Biden with the Legion of Merit award, honoring his service in the Delaware National Guard and deployment in Iraq in the Army Judge Advocate General's Corps. Odierno served as the commanding general of U.S. forces in Iraq when Biden served overseas.

"I have always believed that an individual's character has always defined them as a person," Odierno said, adding, "Beau Biden's character was genuine."

"Beau possessed the traits I have witnessed only in the greatest leaders," the general said in his eulogy. "He had a natural charisma that few people possess."

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