The poignant moment from Inauguration Day struck a chord with many on Twitter after it was photographed by a reporter who stopped by the graveyard at that moment to pay her own respects.
The world breathed a collective sigh of relief on Wednesday as we watched President Joe Biden deliver his inaugural address at the Capitol. Taking office as the 46th president of the United States at the end of four years that aggravated the nation's divisions, Biden affirmed his belief in a unified country and offered a harmonious, hopeful vision for confronting the "foes we face." As he called for unity and urged Americans to appeal to their better natures, a lone figure in uniform carried out a silent vigil more than 110 miles away, before the grave of Biden's late son, Beau.
President Joe Biden’s children and grandchildren honored the late Beau Biden during the 2021 Presidential Inauguration in Washington, D.C. with a special song choice. ❤️ https://t.co/nTxMPBcqAo pic.twitter.com/94fZSq7ELw— E! News (@enews) January 20, 2021
This poignant moment from the Inauguration Day — which would've gone unnoticed if not for a reporter from the Delaware News Journal who stopped by the graveyard at that moment to pay her own respects — struck a chord with thousands on Twitter. A photograph of the unknown figure in a blue uniform kneeling on the chilly ground as winds whipped through the cemetery at St. Joseph on the Brandywine Catholic Church in Greenville, Delaware, was posted online by reporter Patricia Talorico, who said she was on an assignment to see how Delaware was commemorating the incoming administration when she spotted the man.
Poignant moment: While Joe Biden gave his inauguration speech, a lone man in a uniform knelt at the Delaware grave of his son Beau. pic.twitter.com/QkCuJRHzTz— Patricia Talorico (@PattyTalorico) January 20, 2021
"I saw a lone person in a blue uniform kneeling at Beau's grave. No one else was around on this cold, windy afternoon except for a few people doing outside work at the cemetery. In my car, I had the radio tuned to CNN. Joe Biden was being sworn in as president and was about to begin his address," Talorico recounted the moment for USA Today. "The person in the uniform bowed their head and clasped their hands. The image brought tears to my eyes. I couldn't bring myself to interrupt this poignant, solemn moment. I took some photos from a distance and pulled my car over to a nearby roadway."
Beau Biden holding the family Bible at Joe Biden’s swearing in as Vice-President. It is the Bible Joe Biden will use in 90 minutes to be sworn in as President. pic.twitter.com/Ax0sNtpmD5— the truth is out there AKA the orchid man (@swkoti) January 20, 2021
"I listened to the end of Biden's speech and drove back to see if the person was still there. The person was. And the person was still kneeling, still had their head bowed," she revealed. "The journalist in me wanted to go back and find out the person's identity and ask why they were 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. Some things in life you just let be."
President Biden holds his grandson Beau Biden, named after his late son, at the White House on Wednesday.— NBC News (@NBCNews) January 21, 2021
📷 Evan Vucci / AP pic.twitter.com/SuS22fruj5
After Talorico posted a photograph of the scene on Twitter, reactions flooded in from hundreds of thousands of people; some of whom suggested the individual might've been a police officer who had been sent to protect the grave from being vandalized. Meanwhile, others theorized that it could have been an Army veteran who had served alongside Beau and wanted to be by his side as President Biden was sworn-in to office. However, the overwhelming response was captured in a tweet by Twitter user Janet Smelt, who wrote: "I do not care what the reason was for him being there. Just thankful that Beau was not alone during this historic day."
"If I'm half as good a dad to my two kids as my dad has been to me and my brother and sister, my kids will be lucky." - Beau Biden pic.twitter.com/wS8O7eAknL— Maria Cuomo Cole (@MariaCuomoCole) January 20, 2021
The president’s admiration for his late son — who died of brain cancer in 2015 at age 46 — was once again made apparent the day before his inauguration when he bid an emotional farewell to his home state. "I am proud, proud, proud, proud to be a son of Delaware," Biden told the crowd, "and I am even more proud to be standing here, doing this from the Major Beau Biden facility. Ladies and gentlemen, I only have one regret. That he's not here, because we should be introducing him as president."
"I am proud to be a son of Delaware, and I am even more proud to be standing here, doing this from the Major Beau Biden facility. Ladies and gentleman, I only have one regret. That he's not here, because we should be introducing him as president" -- Biden pic.twitter.com/D3h95S6frZ— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) January 19, 2021