A young teen with a stutter who was inspired by President Joe Biden to feel “more confident” and spoke at the Democratic National Convention returned to the nation’s airwaves on Wednesday night.
As part of Biden’s Inauguration, Brayden Harrington recited an iconic portion of late President John F. Kennedy’s inaugural address from 1961.
“In the long history of the world, only a few generations have been granted the role of defending freedom in its hour of maximum danger," he quoted. "I do not shrink from the responsibility. I welcome it. I do not believe that any of us would exchange places with any other people or any other generation."
"The energy, the faith, the devotion which we bring to this endeavor will light our country and all who serve it, and the glow from that fire can truly light the world," he said. "So, my fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country."
Later, on Instagram, the Presidential Inaugural Committee celebrated Brayden.
“Proud to have Brayden Harrington join us to recite President Kennedy’s powerful words. Like our new @POTUS, Brayden leads with the power of his speech,” @bideninaugural posted.
Brayden, then 13, first made headlines in August, when he was featured in a video at the DNC. He explained how he’d met Biden in New Hampshire and the advice Biden had given him.
"He told me that we were members of the same club," Brayden said in August. "We stutter. It was really amazing to hear that someone like me became vice president."
Brayden went on to explain Biden told him about a book of poems he used to read aloud to practice and showed him how to mark his speeches to make them easier to say aloud.
He bravely got through his entire address and urged people to vote for Biden, even though he isn't yet old enough.
Teen describes how Biden helped him overcome his stutterAug. 21, 202001:54
“I’m just a regular kid, and in a short amount of time, Joe Biden made me more confident about something that’s bothered me my whole life. Joe Biden cared," Brayden said. "Imagine what he could do for all of us."
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That same night of the DNC, Biden reminisced about how he worked to overcome his stutter as a child in another video.
"Some letters are harder than others," he said. "I used to get up at night and go stand in front of the mirror and practice."
He said having a stutter as a child impacted him so strongly that it sticks with him to this day.
"It’s mortifying, it allows that child to become the object of ridicule," he said. "From having to deal with stuttering, it gave me insight into other people’s pain and suffering."
EDITOR'S NOTE (Jan. 20, 2021, 11:40 P.M. ET): This story has been updated to include Brayden Harrington's appearance at the 2021 inauguration of President Joe Biden.