From NBC's Lauren Appelbaum
In a 13-minute address at a Veterans Day memorial service, Biden told Delaware residents even though he may be leaving his Senate seat, they will always own his heart.
"I want to tell you straight up with the national press here that the title that means the most to me other than father is being the senator from the state of Delaware," Biden said at the War Memorial Plaza in New Castle, Del. "Nothing, nothing. And I mean it sincerely. If you haven't figured it out yet, you own my heart. And there is no title, including Vice President of the United States that will ever be as honorific to me as being the senator from the state of Delaware for so many years, and I thank you for that, that honor, genuinely an honor."
Biden reflected on the national and state transitions, calling their ease a testament to veterans' service.
"It's amazing in this democracy how smoothly the transitions go," Biden said. "It is really, literally, amazing that I can tell you in my discussions with President Bush and Vice President Cheney, it is a remarkable testament to what you all fought for, that there is absolutely, absolutely, totally complete unadulterated cooperation and movement as if it's seamless. And it's a real testament to this country."
Unlike other wars, Biden stressed, many of the enlisted and National Guard members are serving multiple tours in Iraq and Afghanistan.
"Never have we had a war before where we sent people back into harm's way where they are shot at, cleaning blood out of their humvees, once, twice, three, four, five times," Biden said. "That has never ever, ever, ever, ever, ever happened in American history."
Biden became solemn toward the end of his address, promising on behalf of President-elect Obama and himself to protect the troops, which includes his son Beau, while oversees and back home. "The only sacred, sacred obligation this nation has is to care for those we send to war and prepare them and equip them with the best available in the world and care for them when they come home."