SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — In a stirring tribute Thursday to former Sen. George McGovern, Vice President Joe Biden hailed the one-time presidential nominee as the “father of the modern Democratic Party” for his forceful stand against the Vietnam War and for helping open the party to more women, young people and minorities.

Biden’s 25-minute reflection capped a day of remembrance to the South Dakota icon, who carried his anti-war sentiment to his party’s nomination in a 1972 race he would lose in a historic landslide to Richard Nixon.

Despite the loss, Biden said McGovern summoned public restlessness with the war and helped bring about its end before “so much more blood and so much more treasure would have been wasted.”

A larger funeral service for McGovern is set for Friday.