Jan 19, 2021
Joe Biden Speech Transcript Before Departure for Washington, D.C. January 19
Joe Biden gave a speech from New Castle, Delaware before his departure to Washington, D.C. for inauguration day tomorrow. Read the full transcript here.
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Speaker 1: (02:53)
And please welcome Delaware National Guard Chaplain, Major David Murphy to deliver the invocation.
Major David Murphy: (03:08)
The young boy, Samuel was asleep in the temple and the Lord came to him and called him. He got up and went to the elder priest, Eli, and he said, “Here I am for you called.” Eli said to him, “I did not call you. Go back to sleep.” This happened a few more times and finally, Eli realized that it was the Lord who was calling Samuel. So Eli told the young boy, “The next time you hear the call say, ‘Speak Lord for your servant is listening.'” Eli knew that in one sense, he had to let go of Samuel so that Samuel could have a relationship with God and serve him.
Major David Murphy: (03:56)
As we gather here today, as Delaware citizens, in one sense, we are letting go of one of our very own, but only that we can get him back so that he may serve and answer his call to the nation. And so God, our Father, we ask you to guide him with your wisdom, empower him with your strength and gather us all in your love, for this we make our prayer, amen.
Audience : (04:27)
Speaker 1: (04:38)
Please welcome Governor John Carney.
Governor John Carney: (04:42)
It is indeed a beautiful Delaware day. Welcome to the Joseph R. “Beau” Biden National Guard Reserve Center. General Berry, Senators Carper and Coons, Congresswoman Blunt Rochester, Lieutenant Governor Hall-Long, County Executive Meyer, Mayor Purzycki, other distinguished guests, fellow Delawareans, friends of all, at any time in our state’s history this would be a proud and momentous day. But sending one of our own to the nation’s Capitol to be the next president of the United States and leader of the free world, doesn’t get any better than that.
Governor John Carney: (06:00)
But after the pain and darkness of the past four years and more acutely, the last 10 months, I feel overwhelmed with emotion standing here before you today. We’re here among the men and women of the Delaware National Guard. They’ve answered the call to duty over and over again this past year from COVID-19 testing and contact tracing to delivering meals and school supplies to students, to keeping our streets safe while Delawareans exercise their First Amendment Rights. They have been a bright spot and a source of inspiration for me this past year, as I know, they always have been for you, Joe, and for your family.
Governor John Carney: (06:56)
I have one particular feeling today that’s hard to describe. And it’s one that so many Americans haven’t felt for far too long, and I’m almost afraid to let myself feel it but if I had to put a name to it, I’d call it hope. Joe Biden was born for this moment. He believes and all of us more, I think, than we believe in ourselves. He has kept the faith through some of the darkest days in our nation’s history and through the darkest days of his own. We stand here today at the National Guard headquarters named after Beau, Joe’s pride and joy and Delaware’s as well.
Governor John Carney: (07:50)
Somehow as Joe so often has done over the years, he has picked himself up and brought us along with him. Now, he stands ready to pull this country out of this morass, out of the chaos and onto higher ground. Mr. President-elect, you’ve been a caring boss and a friend to Tracey and me and a respected United States Senator most of my life. When you became vice president, I didn’t think it got any better than that for our small little state. Today, I could not be more proud to be the governor of the state that gave the country Joe Biden.
Governor John Carney: (08:53)
I don’t envy the job ahead of you. Our country is lucky you’re even willing to do it, but you know how much is at stake. And we in Delaware know how much you love our country. You are what this country needs. You are what we all need. And so as you head down to Washington, know that you have the thoughts and prayers of a grateful and incredibly proud State of Delaware. May the wind be always at your back.
Governor John Carney: (09:36)
Ladies and gentlemen, the next president of the United States, Joe Biden.
Joe Biden: (10:19)
Thank you, Governor and Tracey, and all my friends that are here for everything you’ve done for me and for my family throughout the years. Tommy, you’ve been a friend a long time. I look out there and I see, Mike Purzycki, Mike, I’m glad you’re healthy, man. You’re here pal. I’m really glad, Mike.
Joe Biden: (11:01)
It’s kind of emotional for me, but look, we went through my whole career and through the good times and the bad and I want to thank you for everything. To my fellow Delawareans and behalf of the entire Biden family that’s here today, I want to express how much you mean to me and to every one of us.
Joe Biden: (11:24)
In our family, the values we share, the character we strive for, the way we view the world, it all comes from home. It all comes from Delaware. The state that gave my mother and father a home and a livelihood when they needed it most. A state that made my brothers and sister and I, both of whom are here, understand that we could do whatever we dreamed of, whatever that was. And it gave me a chance when I was just a kid to elect me and believed in me and sent me to the United States Senate before going to the County Council, after going to the County Council. Where Jill and I found one another and where she made me strong as Ernest Hemingway wrote, in all the broken places. And the state that loves our children and our grandchildren and loved our Beau and he so loved you right back.
Joe Biden: (12:24)
General Berry, when the headquarters was named after Beau I told General Vavala at the time, it means everything to me, to Hunter, to Ashley, to Jill, to our whole family. But Beau would be the first to say, “The honor goes to the men and women of the Delaware National Guard and their families who gave so much, who are true Patriots defined by the courage of their character.” And so it’s deeply personal that our next journey to Washington starts here, a place that defines the very best of who we are as Americans.
Joe Biden: (13:09)
I know these are dark times, but there’s always light. That’s what makes this state so special, that’s what it taught me. It taught me the most. There’s always light. When I came home after graduating from Delaware and then going on to law school at Syracuse, I came home after law school to Wilmington, to our county and it had gone dark. Dr. King was assassinated. Wilmington had been in flames. The National Guard patrolled the streets and that turmoil inspired me to become a public defender, a step I never anticipated would lead me toward this improbable journey. Where 12 years ago, I was waiting at the train station in Wilmington for a black man to pick me up on our way to Washington, where we were sworn in as president and vice president of the United States of America.
Joe Biden: (14:12)
And here we are today, my family and I, about to return to Washington to meet a black woman of South Asian descent, to be sworn in as president and vice president of the United States. As I told Beau on that station, waiting for Barack and Hunter and Ashley, I said, “Don’t tell me things can’t change. They can and they do.” That’s America, that’s Delaware, a place of hope and light and limitless possibilities. And I’m honored. I’m truly honored to be your next president and commander in chief and I’ll always be a proud son of the State of Delaware.
Joe Biden: (15:01)
As Tommy or better known as a Chairman Carper, Senator Carper knows my colleagues in the Senate used to always kid me for quoting Irish poets. They thought I did it because I’m Irish. I didn’t do it for that reason. I did it because they’re the best poets in the world. James Joyce was said to have told a friend that when it comes his time to pass, when he dies, he said, “Dublin will be written on my heart.” Well, excuse the emotion, but when I die Delaware will be written on my heart, and the hearts of all of us, all the Bidens. We love you all. You’ve been there for us in the good and the bad. You’ve never walked away and I am proud, proud, proud, proud to be a son of Delaware. I am even more proud to be standing here doing this from the Major Beau Biden facility.
Joe Biden: (16:24)
Ladies and gentlemen, I only have one regret, he’s not here because we should be introducing him as president, but we have great opportunities. Delaware’s taught us anything’s possible. Anything’s possible in this country. So God bless you all and may God protect our troops. Thank you.
Joe Biden: (17:01)
Jill told me not to become emotional. I’m Jill’s husband. Rabbi, come here.
Jill Biden: (17:07)
Speaker 1: (17:09)
Please welcome, Rabbi Michael Beals to deliver the benediction.
Rabbi Michael Beals : (17:29)
You already know the Yiddish word for mensch. It means a person who endeavors to consistently do the right thing, textbook example Joe Biden. Here’s a new Yiddish word for our vocabulary as we send our favorite Delawarean to Washington, beshert. My wife, Dr. Elissa Green, aka Major Biden’s Delaware humane association and veterinarian is my beshert. Dr. Jill Biden is Joe’s beshert proving that both the president-elect and I love doctors and that we both married up.
Rabbi Michael Beals : (18:10)
But beshert also means meant to be. It is indeed beshert that you our dear president-elect are being inaugurated on the very week when Jews all around the world are reading from the book of Exodus about Moses freeing us from 400 years of backbreaking, Egyptian slavery at the hands of an autocratic, cruel Pharaoh. In many ways, dear Joe, you are our Moses and vice-president-elect, Kamala Harris is our Aaron. Among your closer Jewish friends together, your administration will always affectionately be known as Mamala and a mensch.
Rabbi Michael Beals : (18:51)
Stay safe our dear friend, defeat the plague of COVID-19, rebuild our crumbling infrastructure and kickstart our sluggish economy. On the week we honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Rid us of the scourge of 400 years of institutional racism. Deal aggressively and boldly with the global climate change for the sake of our children’s future and find allies on both sides of the aisle to pass your legislation, helping us heal our riffs so with sincerity, we can declare the words of Psalm 133, behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers and sisters dwell together in unity.
Rabbi Michael Beals : (19:37)
And in all of these mighty endeavors, invite God in to help you do the heavy lifting with you. You are never alone. You have God and you have us. Allow me to conclude my dear friend, President-elect Biden with the same blessing I gave you six years ago, when you first publicly declared me your rabbi. And I’m proud of that. At that Jewish New Year celebration, I offered you a blessing. You enthusiastically said, “Yes,” you lowered your head reverently.
Rabbi Michael Beals : (20:11)
In pre-COVID fashion, I laid my hands on your forehead and pulling from the book of the Numbers, I blessed you with the following. [foreign language 00:20:24]. May God bless you and keep you. [foreign language 00:20:33]. May God cause his face to shine upon you and to be gracious to you. [foreign language 00:20:40]. May God lift his face towards you, be gracious to you and give you that most precious gift of all, the gift of wholeness, the gift of completeness, the gift of peace and let us all say, amen.
Audience : (20:56)
Joe Biden: (20:56)
Thank you, thank you. Thank you. [inaudible 00:21:04].