JOE BIDEN has bid farewell to his adopted home state of Delaware in an emotional speech before he takes up the office of President of the United States.
Later today, 20 January 2021, Joe Biden will be inaugurated as the 46th President of the United States, succeeding Donald Trump who lost the election by 306 Electoral College votes to 232.
Mr Biden took to the stage in his home city of Wilmington, Delaware yesterday, where he bid an at-times emotional farewell, thanking his family, friends and the public " for everything you’ve done for me and for my family throughout the years".
The proud Irish-American paraphrased Irish writer James Joyce, recalling that his 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."
Speaking from the Major Beau Biden facility, Mr Biden teared up as he spoke about his son, who passed away from cancer in 2015 and who the facility is named after.
"Ladies and gentlemen, I only have one regret," Mr Biden said.
"[That] he’s not here, because we should be introducing him as president."
Mr Biden said "these are dark times, but there's always light", recalling how the town of Wilmington had been in flames after the assassination of Dr Martin Luther King, Jr and the National Guard had patrolled the street.
This, he said, in part inspired him to become a "public defender, a step I never anticipated would lead me toward this improbable journey", and decades later, "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."
"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," he said in his speech.
"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.' "