Biden eulogizes Madeleine Albright: 'She turned the tide of history'

President Joe Biden on Wednesday eulogized Madeleine Albright, describing the first female US secretary of state as a "force of nature" and a champion of democracy.

With her goodness and grace, her humanity and her intellect,

she turned the tide of history," Biden said during the funeral service at the Washington National Cathedral.

The President said,

"She always had a knack for explaining to the American people why it mattered to them that people everywhere in the world were struggling to breathe free."

The President said he learned of Albright's passing as he was traveling to Europe for an emergency meeting with NATO allies to discuss Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

"It was not lost on me that Madeleine was a big part of the reason NATO was still strong and galvanized, as it is today," Biden said.

The President said Albright remained a "nexus of the foreign policy community" in the decades after she left office.

Albright, Biden said, was

"always, and I mean always, on top of the latest developments.

Always speaking out for democracy, and always the first to sound the alarm about fascism."

"Presidents and leaders around the world continued to solicit her advice, including me,"

The President praised Albright's diplomatic skills and said part of the reason he believed she was so effective is that

"she understood something I've always believed: That all politics, especially international politics, is personal."