Joe Biden honors first wife, baby on anniversary of their deaths

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Joe Biden honors first wife, baby on anniversary of their deaths

President Joe Biden attended an early morning mass Saturday to mark the anniversary of the death of his first wife and infant daughter in a 1972 car crash.

Surrounded by family members — including wife Jill, son Hunter, and multiple grandchildren — Biden worshiped at St. Joseph on the Brandywine Roman Catholic Church near his Wilmington, Del. home.

He then led family members to the churchyard graves of Neilia Biden and baby Naomi, who was 13 months old at the time of the accident.

Little Beau Biden, Hunter’s 21-month-old son, toddled alongside his father as the family left the church for the graveside visit.

Joe Biden was a new senator-elect on Dec. 18, 1972 when Neilia packed their three children into the family car to buy a Christmas tree. She and Naomi were killed when they were broadsided by a tractor-trailer, and sons Hunter, then 3, and Beau were both seriously injured.

President Biden priest
Joe Biden had recently been elected senator when the fatal car crash occurred.
Carolyn Kaster/AP
Neilia Biden had taken her kids out to buy a Christmas tree when the crash happened.
Wilmington News-Journal via AP
President Joe Biden, third from left, watches as his son Hunter Biden follows his grandson Beau Biden as the family leave St. Joseph on the Brandywine Catholic Church in Wilmington, Del., Saturday, Dec. 18
President Joe Biden watches as his son Hunter Biden follows his grandson Beau Biden as the family leave St. Joseph on the Brandywine Catholic Church in Wilmington, Del.
Carolyn Kaster/AP
US President Joe Biden (R) and First Lady Jill Biden (2nd R) walk towards the graves of President Biden's first wife and children after visiting St. Joseph on the Brandywine Catholic Church in Wilmington, Delaware, on December 18, 2021.
Joe and Jill Biden walk toward the graves of President Biden’s first wife.
Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

The tragedy — along with Beau’s brain cancer death in 2015 — has haunted the president, who speaks often about his grief and how it transformed him into a compassionate civil servant.

Hunter Biden has battled drug addiction and has been scrutinized for shady foreign business deals in China and Ukraine.

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