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Obama surprises an emotional Joe Biden with Presidential Medal of Freedom

Joe Biden Medal of Freedom
President Obama puts the Presidential Medal of Freedom around Vice President Joe Biden's neck.Photo: AP

President Barack Obama bestowed the highest civilian honor on Vice President Joe Biden on Thursday, presenting him with the Presidential Medal of Honor.

“For your faith in your fellow Americans, for your love of country and for your lifetime of service that will endure through the generations…I am pleased to award our nation’s highest civilian honor: The Presidential Medal of Freedom,” Obama said.

Biden was not aware he would be receiving the honor, and became emotional upon the President’s announcement, turning away to wipe away tears.

Obama called Biden an “extraordinary man with an extraordinary career in public service.”

“For the first and only time in my presidency, I will bestow this medal with an additional level of veneration, an honor my three most recent successors reserved for only three others: Pope John Paul II, President Ronald Reagan and General Colin Powell,” the President added.

Watch Obama present Biden with the honor in the videos below.

“Mr. President, I’m indebted to you,” Biden said in remarks after receiving the medal. “I’m indebted to your friendship, I’m indented to your family…as long as there’s breath in me I’ll be there for you, I’ll be there for your whole family, and I know it is reciprocal.”

Watch Biden make his remarks in the video below.

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