President Barack Obama bestowed the Medal of Freedom on Vice President Joe Biden today.in a surprise ceremony at the White House attended by Biden's extended family and by his staff and former staff members.
"For the final time as president I am pleased to award our nation's highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom," President Obama said. "For the first and only time in my presidency I will bestow this medal with an additional level of veneration, I am proud to award the President Medal of Freedom with Distintion, to by brother, Joseph R. Biden, Jr."
A proclaimation was read, stating in part:
"With his charm, candor, unabashed optimism and deep and abiding patriotism, Joe Biden has garnered the respect and esteem of colleagues of both parties, and the friendship of people across the nation and around the world."
"What an incredible journey this has been," Vice President Biden said in accepting the award. "This honor is not only well beyond what I deseve, but it is a reflection on the extent and generosity of your spirit. "