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Photo captures uniformed person kneeling at Beau Biden's grave while dad is sworn in

A Delaware reporter who met Beau Biden years ago passed by his gravesite on Inauguration Day and happened to capture this poignant moment.
/ Source: TODAY

Members of the Biden family weren't the only people who felt the absence of Joe Biden's oldest son, the late Beau Biden, on Inauguration Day.

A now-viral photo, taken by a reporter based in Wilmington, Delaware, on Wednesday afternoon, captured a lone, unidentified person in a blue uniform kneeling by Beau Biden's grave at St. Joseph on the Brandywine Roman Catholic Church — at the same time that the 46th president was delivering his inaugural address. It's unclear who this individual is and if the person knew Beau, but according to the journalist who took the photo, Patricia Talorico, the uniformed kneeler paid respects for at least 20 minutes.

"No one else was around on this cold, windy afternoon except for a few people doing outside work at the cemetery," Talorico explained in an article she wrote about the photo for local outlet Delaware Online. "In my car, I had the radio tuned to CNN. Joe Biden was being sworn in as president and was about to begin his address."

"The person in the uniform bowed their head and clasped their hands. The image brought tears to my eyes. I couldn't bring myself to interrupt this poignant, solemn moment," she added.

Talorico, who said she met Beau Biden in 2002 during a challenging time in her life, took a photo from a distance before briefly driving away. She then returned to the grave as Joe Biden's roughly 20-minute inaugural address was ending, and the uniformed person was still there, kneeling with their head bowed.

Joe Biden's eldest son, Beau Biden, died of brain cancer in 2015.Bill Clark / CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

"The journalist in me wanted to go back and find out the person's identity and ask why they were there," Talorico concluded. "The person who once received a kind gesture from Beau when I needed it most knew it was a time to be respectful, and I drove away."

Joe Biden's inauguration had plenty of moments that honored his first son, a veteran and former attorney general of Delaware who died in 2015 of brain cancer. On Tuesday, ahead of Inauguration Day, Joe Biden spoke from Major Joseph R. "Beau" Biden III National Guard/Reserve Center, named for his late son. During his remarks, he tearfully said that his only regret was not having Beau Biden with him "because we should be introducing him as president," NBC News reported at the time.

In addition, when Joe Biden's other children, Hunter and Ashley, and his grandchildren entered the inaugural ceremony, the Marine Corps Band played John Philip Sousa’s "Beau Ideal." And Hunter Biden brought to the festivities his baby son, who is named Beau after his late uncle, NBC News confirmed.

Baby Beau Biden, President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden during the "Celebrating America" primetime special on Jan. 20, 2021.Biden Inaugural Committee via Getty Images

Hunter Biden carried little Beau on the abbreviated inaugural parade route, and he was able to get some quality time with his commander-in-chief grandpa during Wednesday evening's televised celebration.