An emotional moment transpired Wednesday when Vice President Joseph Biden made an unannounced stop at the campus memorial for victims of the April 2007 Virginia Tech shooting. The event was captured by the pool reporter on duty, to whom Biden hadn't been planning on offering remarks.
Your pooler asked what the memorial meant to him, prompting Biden to recall his own life's tragedy. VP paused repeatedly as he answered in an emotional, solemn fashion.
Biden staff initially tried to shoo the pool away when the queston was posed, but the vp wanted to answer.
"It means," he said, pausing. “I’ll tell you what it means. It means to me that – it reminds you how precious life is. And that – you know I think of those kids, but I also think of their parents. No child should predecease their parents. I remember what it’s like. [Pause] It brings back, [pause] It brings back memories. Whether it’s that call, out of the blue that you get, and it’s like how could this happen."
CBS producer Rodney Hawkins asked Biden about the recent shootings, prompting VP staff to again shoo the pool.
This event resonates with Biden for two reasons. The first relates to policy: curbing gun violence was his one of Biden's top legislative priorities in the Senate. The second, and more obvious, reason is personal. Biden lost his wife and young daughter in a car crash in December 1972, shortly before he joined the Senate. He has written and discussed the incident before, including in May of this year: