Going home: Biden returns

Biden travels back to Syracuse his former alma mater and home.

On Sunday, Vice President Joe Biden made two talks in Syracuse.

In his first, to some 28,000 at Syracuse University's graduation ceremony in the Carrier Dome, he spoke passionately of 1968, the year of his graduation from the university's law school. Following an introduction by Chancellor Nancy Cantor, in just under 40 minutes he delivered an inspirational talk to rival any ever delivered by any coach on the same ground.

His second, introduced some 90 minutes later by Student Council President Aaliyah Osorio, addressed, in far softer yet no less passionate tones, a generation of students at least 11 years away from their college graduation. With this appearance in front of some 200 students at Bellevue Elementary School, Joe Biden had, twice in the same day, come home.

Biden's talk at the university was, in many ways, a typical appearance for a man of high office and great accomplishment -- a return to his alma mater to send off the current graduates to have their impact on the world. His talk at Bellevue was far different, an unparalleled opportunity for Biden to revisit his past and leave a distinct imprint on the future.

Biden's Syracuse connections

The story of his time in Syracuse is well known by now. While he attended Syracuse Law School, his wife, Neilia, taught seventh grade at the then Bellevue Heights School and became a respected and beloved part of the school and neighborhood community.

We also know of the tragic death of Neilia and their daughter, Naomi, in a car crash in Delaware. We know of his election to the US Senate at age 29, and his rise to the office of Vice President. And now we know, first hand, of his own respect and love for the generation that is several presidential elections away from their chance to make an impact.

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