If you think the young man who spoke at President Joe Biden’s inauguration special looked familiar, that’s because we’ve seen him before. No, he is not Walmart yodeling kid Mason Ramsey or the beloved Jacob Tremblay. In fact, it was Brayden Harrington, a teen Biden bonded with while campaigning in New Hampshire. The two both struggle with the same speech disorder and after their first meeting, Biden kept in touch with the kid and helped show him that he is more than his stutter.
At the Democratic National Convention in August 2020, Harrington endorsed the president and delivered a speech, something both he and Biden struggle with and work tirelessly to overcome. “He told me about a book of poems by [William Butler] Yeats he would read out loud to practice. He showed me how he marks his addresses to make them easier to say out loud, so I did the same thing today,” he said as he spoke across TV screens around the country on Jan. 20, 2021. Keep scrolling for more details and to see what Harrington said at the inauguration special.
Brayden Harrington recited John F. Kennedy's 1961 inauguration speech
Following Brayden Harrington’s endorsement of President Joe Biden at the DNC, which exemplified Biden’s ability to connect with the American people, the teen spoke for Biden again after he was sworn into office — a full-circle moment for the pair who met on the campaign trail. As he graced our screens at the inauguration special on Jan. 20, 2021, Harrington recited John F. Kennedy’s 1961 inauguration speech.
“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,” the teen said for millions across the world. “I do not shrink from this responsibility. I welcome it.” Stating one of the most iconic lines in American history, he said, “My fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country.”
Since sprouting a relationship with Biden, the world has been moved by their story and Harrington even got a book deal scheduled for summer 2021. “I never imaged this,” the teen said, “He made me more confident about my stutter.” If Biden’s relationship with Harrington doesn’t scream “personable,” we don’t know what does.
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