US President Barack Obama presented a tearful Joseph R. Biden, his vice President for the past eight years, with the US’ Presidential medal of Freedom at a ceremony held in the White House Thursday.
The honour is the highest civilian honour handed out by the country and Obama said Biden, who he introduced as “the best vice president America’s ever had”, deserved it more than anyone he could think of.
“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’d like to ask the military aide to join us on stage,” Obama said in the ceremony.
“For my final time as President, I am pleased to award our nation’s highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom.”
Biden, 74, was shocked by the honour and was in tears as it was bestowed on him. He had not been informed of the ceremony and simply thought he was there to toast senior White House staff.
“This honor is not only well beyond what I deserve, but it’s a reflection of the extent and generosity of your spirit,” Biden said. “I don’t deserve this but I know it came from the President’s heart”