Vice President Joe Biden will speak at Ted Stevens' memorial service at the Anchorage Baptist Temple on Wednesday. The service is open to the public and will be televised statewide.
Biden, a former Democratic U.S. senator from Delaware, knew the Alaska Republican for decades.
"Jill and I had genuine affection for Ted," Biden said after Stevens died in a plane crash north of Dillingham last week. "As senators, he and I bonded over shared similar family tragedies, but we also celebrated life's great moments together too, like the births of our daughters a few days apart. We served together for more than 30 years, but more than that, he was my friend, and I will miss him."
Biden's first wife and baby daughter died in a car accident a month after he was elected to the Senate in 1972. Stevens' first wife, Ann, died in a 1978 plane crash.
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The 2 p.m. Anchorage Baptist Temple service Wednesday and a reception following at the church are both open to the public. Biden's presence will mean Secret Service and heavy security at the event, expected to also include several others who served with Stevens.
Hawaii Democratic Sen. Daniel Inouye is one of those expected to attend, according to Anchorage Baptist Temple Pastor Jerry Prevo. Inouye and Stevens were particularly close, and his response to Stevens' death was "I have lost my brother."
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