Mr. Biden’s running mate, Senator Kamala Harris, and her husband, Douglas Emhoff, attended a remembrance ceremony in Fairfax, Va.
Mr. Biden, who has suffered a series of family tragedies, is perhaps at his best when comforting others grappling with grief, whether in a one-on-one conversation or while giving a eulogy, and amid the coronavirus crisis has made a point to frequently recognize the staggering death toll. Mr. Trump, a lover of large campaign rallies, is not known for those skills and has often glossed over the devastation of the virus.
In New York, Mr. Biden gave flowers to a 90-year-old woman who said she had lost her son, as Mr. Biden sought to empathize about pain that, he suggested, “never goes away.” To her and in Pennsylvania on Friday, he mentioned his own son, Beau Biden, who died of brain cancer in 2015 and had previously deployed to Iraq with the Delaware Army National Guard.
“It takes a lot of courage for someone that lost someone to come back today,” Mr. Biden said at another point in New York. “It’s a wonderful memorial, but it’s hard. It just brings you back to the moment it happened, no matter how long, how much time passes. So I admire the families who come.”
In Pennsylvania, he again talked about the grieving process with the family members on hand and engaged in some lighthearted banter with younger attendees.
Mr. Trump’s condolences were more scripted.
“The first lady and I come to this hallowed ground deeply aware that we cannot fill the void in your heart or erase the terrible sorrow of this day,” he said. “The agony renewed, the nightmare relived, the wounds reopened, the last treasured words played over and over again in your minds. But while we cannot erase your pain, we can help to shoulder your burden.”