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President Barack Obama presents Vice President Joe Biden with the Presidential Medal of Freedom during a ceremony in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 12, 2017. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

President Obama surprised VP Biden with Presidential Medal of Freedom


In a surprise move, President Obama awarded Vice President Joe Biden with the highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom with distinction, for the final time.

The surprise event took place at the White House midday Thursday. 

Biden wiped tears from his eyes as President Obama delivered a heartfelt speech, touching on the Scranton-native's political achievements regarding cancer research and awareness of sexual assault. 

"To my brother," Obama said before the award's citations were read.

President Obama surprised VP Biden with Presidential Medal of Freedom

In his remarks, the 44th commander-in-chief described Biden as "the best vice president America has ever had." 

He added, “To know Joe Biden is to know love without pretense, service without self-regard and to live life fully."

After bestowed with the honor, Biden delivered off-the-cuff remarks, thinking he was attending a toast to senior staff with First Lady Michelle Obama and his wife Jill Biden.

He described Obama, the "honorary Biden" as a "remarkable man who did remarkable things for this country."

"This honor is not only well beyond what I deserve, but it's a reflection of the extent and generosity of your spirit," he said. "I don't deserve this but I know it came from the President's heart."

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