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Boy who bonded with Biden over stutter recites JFK's words in inauguration special
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Boy who bonded with Biden over stutter recites JFK's words in inauguration special


Brayden Harrington, the 13-year-old New Hampshire boy who bonded with President Joe Biden over their shared experience with stuttering, was part of the prime-time special capping off Biden's inauguration on Wednesday night.

Harrington, who spoke about his bond with Biden in a video at the Democratic National Convention in August, read part of John F. Kennedy’s inaugural address during Wednesday's special.

"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, I do not shrink from that responsibility. I welcome it. I do not believe that any of us will exchange places with any other people or any other generation,” Brayden Harrington recited.

“The energy, the faith, the devotion which we bring to this endeavor will light our country and all who serve it. And the glow from that fire can truly light the world. And so my fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you, ask what can you do for your country.”

Harrington said Biden's inauguration sends a special message to kids, including those grappling with stuttering, "that they matter."

"It's a huge part of our life because there's a president being elected that has a speech issue," he said.

Harrington was part of a segment introducing Biden's remarks during the 90-minute "Celebrating America" special that aired on several channels.

Harrington, whose segment also included appearances by former NBA star Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, labor leader Dolores Huerta and the first female MLB general manager Kim Ng, told CNN "it's an honor" to be part of the inauguration festivities as Biden was sworn in as the country's 46th president.

"He's come a long way and I'm pretty happy for him. When I first met him, it was in February and he came this far," Harrington said. "He basically has the whole country in his hands, and I know he'll be good at that."

Harrington and Biden first met last February at a campaign event in New Hampshire.

Joe Biden and Brayden Harrington

In this Feb. 10, 2020, file photo, then-Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden hugs Brayden Harrington at a campaign stop in Gilford, N.H.

After speaking briefly during that February event, Biden, who worked through a stutter as a child, invited the young boy to meet with him backstage, where he spoke with him about stuttering and techniques for how to deal with it.

The 13-year-old talked about that moment in one of the most powerful videos from the summer's Democratic convention.

"He told me that we were members of the same club: We stutter. It was really amazing to hear that someone like me became vice president," Brayden said.

"I'm just a regular kid, and in a short amount of time, Joe Biden made me feel more confident about something that's bothered me my whole life," he said. "Joe Biden cared. Imagine what he could do for all of us."

Photos: Scenes from Biden's inauguration special

See scenes from the star-studded, primetime event that capped the inauguration of President Biden and Vice President Harris.


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