Washington, Jan 13: US President Barack Obama on Thursday surprised Vice President Joe Biden by presenting him the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honour, during a White House ceremony.
"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," CNN quoted Obama as saying.
"For my final time as President, I am pleased to award our nation's highest civilian honour, the Presidential Medal of Freedom," he added. Meanwhile, an emotional Biden accepted the award but said he did not deserve it.
"This honour is not only well beyond what I deserve, but it's a reflection of the extent and generosity of your spirit. I don't deserve this but I know it came from the President's heart," Biden said. Before surprising Biden with the award, Obama gave lengthy remarks praising Biden, his wife Dr Jill Biden and his children and grandchildren.
"This is the kind of family that built this country. That's why my family is honoured to call ourselves honorary Bidens," Obama said.