Thank you, Joe, for that welcome. And thank you, Wilmington, for giving us such a great send-off.
It was just under five months ago that Joe Biden stood beside me on the steps of the Old State Capitol in Springfield to accept my invitation to run for Vice President of the United States of America.
I chose Joe because I knew where he came from, even if I hadn't spent much time here -because you can learn a lot about a person's hometown through the deeds that they've done. Joe has always fought for the middle class, while forging the consensus to get things done. He has supported the cops and firefighters and families who form the backbone of our communities, while emerging as a statesman in the community of nations. And for thirty-six years, Delaware has sent Joe Biden to change Washington, and Washington hasn't changed him. Instead, Joe Biden has changed Washington.
The people of Delaware know this better than anyone. Because Joe is still the scrappy kid from Scranton whose family moved here - to Wilmington - in search of a new beginning. They'd known their share of hardships, and they would come to know more. They didn't have much money. But Joe Senior taught his son about the values that stretched longer than the dollar: the dignity of a hard day's work; the primacy of family; the dream that anyone should be able to make it if they try; and the simple lesson that when we Americans get knocked down, we always - always - get back up on our feet.
Those are values that the American people hold in common. They are shared by Irish Catholics from Wilmington and African Americans from the South Side of Chicago, and by Hispanics and Asians and Native Americans all across this great land. They form a foundation for our success, and lift us up when we face adversity.
Those are values that Joe carried with him to the Senate. You sent him there when he was just thirty, and that's when tragedy struck. Suddenly, this man who had a limitless future before him had lost more than most of us could ever imagine. That's when Joe Biden got back up on his feet.
He didn't move away from Delaware. Instead, day after day, month after month, year