“It’s pretty emotional for me,” Biden admitted at one point.
The president-elect’s display was a stark contrast to that of the man he succeeds, President Donald Trump, who goes to great lengths to avoid projecting vulnerability in public.
Biden’s remarks – which lasted less than 10 minutes – were in many ways an ode to his adopted state of Delaware, which first sent him to the United States Senate nearly 48 years ago. The president-elect called the state a “place of hope, light and limitless possibilities” for him and his family.
Biden also said that upon his death “Delaware will be written in my heart”, drawing on what famous Irish writer James Joyce once said about Dublin.
The President-elect and his wife Jill Biden are expected to spend the night at Blair House, as tradition dictates for the new presidents on the eve of their inauguration.
The President-elect also listened 12 years earlier, when then-President-elect Barack Obama greeted him on the train platform in Washington, DC, before being sworn in in January 2009 and said he was now set to “meet a black woman of South Asian descent,” Kamala Harris, on the eve of their inauguration on Wednesday.
When Biden lands in Washington, DC later on Tuesday, the nation’s capital will be under extraordinary levels of security given the violent insurgency that overtook Congress earlier this month.
More than 25,000 members of the National Guard have been authorized to help secure the area in the days surrounding the inauguration. And earlier on Tuesday, the National Guard announced that two guards were shot of the security mission due to alleged links with right-wing militias.
Officials have expressed concern about the risk of an “insider threat” to Biden or others during the inauguration and are closely examining those charged with protecting the capital.