"I admired him from the day I became aware of him to the day he died," Biden said, adding McGovern gave him the courage to run for office at age 29 against a candidate whose approval rating stood at 82 percent.
Biden recalled McGovern, in his fight to end the Vietnam War, telling the Senate "this chamber reeks of blood" and saying he was tired of hearing "old men dreaming up wars for young men to die in."
"What incredible political courage and gumption it took to make that speech in the Senate," Biden told a crowd of more than 600 mourners at First United Methodist Church. "He spoke for our soul," Biden said. "I still feel the same way."