Thousands Attend Welcome Home Rally for Bidens - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Thousands Attend Welcome Home Rally for Bidens

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WILMINGTON, Del. - Thousands of people packed the Chase Center in Wilmington on Friday to welcome outgoing Vice President Joe Biden & his wife Jill back to Delaware.

People lined up outside in the rain hours before the event started at 2:30 PM. Once inside, there were live performances--such as the University of Delaware Marching Band--and people could pick up "welcome back" signs, including some made by local elementary schoolers. Although the event was in Wilmington, people came from all three counties in Delaware, and there were some out of state attendees as well. Kim Lewis came from Camden with her two children to acknowledge Biden's years in politics.

"We thought it was very important to welcome home someone who did so much for our country and represented the state of Delaware," she said.

After myriad live performances, a number of elected officials took the stage with the Bidens, including all three members of Delawares congressional delegation, Gov. John Carney and Wilmington Mayor Mike Purzycki, each offering short remarks. Biden's sister Valerie Biden Owens spoke as well before introducing her brother. When Biden got to the podium, he was visibly emotional.

"When I die, Delaware will be written on my heart," he said.

Kori Lewandowski says it's that energy that made her take off work in Seaford and come up to Wilmington to welcome the Bidens back.

"He is a human being, and he never lets that sort of side disappear from him," she said. "You can always see that he's here for us as people, not as some big wig, so I really appreciate that about him"

Kevin Donovan with the Carlisle Fire Department was just one of many first responders in the room. He also spoke about Biden's devotion to Delawareans.

"Joe's been good to the fire service and we're just trying to pay a little respect to him and welcome him back home," he said. "Honor him and show him support in return."

In his remarks, Biden encouraged the crowd to be positive in this new political era.

"I am more optimistic for the possibilities of America than I have ever been," Biden said. "There is no quit in America, there is no quit in the American people. There is nothing beyond our capacity."

At the end of his speech, he told the crowd he wasn't going anywhere. Longtime Sussex County politician and Biden friend Joe Conaway says that's how it should be.

"We started together and we're going to finish together, though neither of us are finished," he said. "We cannot let people with that type of talent, especially in this day and time, be left sitting on the sidelines."

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