DENVER, Colorado (CNN) - It was classic Clinton.
It was Sen. Hillary Clinton's big night but before her speech even began, former President Bill Clinton reached out in his box and firmly embraced a young African-American man.
Clinton gripped the young man tightly; to millions watching on television, it was clear he could feel Mervyn Jones Jr.'s pain.
Watch: Clintons honor Tubbs Jones
As he sat down for his wife's headlining address, Bill Clinton's silent embrace of the 25-year-old son of recently deceased Ohio Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones resonated loudly.
Rep. Tubbs Jones, of course, was a solid and loyal Clinton supporter, standing by the Clintons even when many other black leaders were shifting their support to Barack Obama.
Then, in her speech, Sen. Clinton herself took a moment to mention Tubbs Jones and her son.
"Steadfast in her beliefs, a fighter of uncommon grace, she was an inspiration to me and to us all," Clinton said. "Our heart goes out to Stephanie's son, Mervyn Jr."
The public moment of recognition was the result of years of friendship.