By Melissa Chan
January 12, 2017

President Barack Obama on Thursday bestowed Vice President Joe Biden with the nation’s highest civilian honor during a surprise ceremony that brought the president’s right-hand man to tears.

Obama awarded Biden with the Presidential Medal of Freedom after calling the vice president his “brother” and a “lion of American history.” An emotional Biden accepted the honor but said it was “well beyond” what he deserves.

Below is a complete transcript of the event.

Contact us at editors@time.com.

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