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Joe Biden Broke Down In Tears Receiving A Surprise Medal Of Freedom From Obama

"To know Joe Biden is to know that love without pretense, service without self-regard, and to live life fully," the POTUS said of his VP.

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President Obama surprised Vice President Joe Biden Thursday with the Presidential Medal of Freedom. "I am pleased to award our nation's highest civilian honor," the POTUS said.

Associated Press

Obama prefaced the presentation with a speech honoring Biden's service and character.

"To know Joe Biden is to know that love without pretense, service without self-regard, and to live life fully," the POTUS said. "I'm proud to award the presidential medal of distinction to my brother."

The award was a surprise. When Biden realized he was being given the honor, he began tearing up and turned around to collect himself.

.@VP turned around to wipe tears from his eyes after @POTUS surprised him with the Presidential Medal of Freedom

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Obama: I would like to award Joe... Joe: Nahhhhhhhhhhhhhh

Some people were really touched by the fact that Biden was "openly crying."

We are all Joe Biden crying into the mantelpiece 😢 https://t.co/7wMwO8QUks

Didn't cry on Tuesday. Crying now. https://t.co/Pkv5K7fADN

Biden openly crying. A very sweet moment. https://t.co/GoqWAOuzyd

Biden then took the podium to thank the commander in chief: "I don't deserve this. But I know it came from the president's heart."

White House

"Mr. President, I'm indebted to you. I'm indebted to your friendship. I'm indebted to your family," he added. "You know as long as there is breath in me, I'll be there for you, my family will be there. I know it is reciprocal."

Watch Biden's full reaction below and the whole ceremony here.

video-cdn.buzzfeed.com

Tanya Chen is a social news reporter for BuzzFeed and is based in New York.

Contact Tanya Chen at tanya.chen@buzzfeed.com.

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