WASHINGTON (CBSLA.com) —  President Barack Obama surprised his vice president Thursday.

The president awarded Joe Biden the nation’s highest civilian award, the medal of freedom.

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The president joked that giving the award to Biden would allow the internet one last chance to make fun of their bromance.

Jokes aside, the president thanked Biden for his long commitment to public life.

Biden has held elected office for 44 years.

“I wanted to get some folks together to pay tribute to somebody who’s not only been by my side for the duration of this amazing journey, but somebody who has devoted his entire professional life to service to this country,” Obama said.

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Obama called Biden his literal brother and said he was “the best vice president America’s ever had.”

A teary Biden returned the accolades.

“This honor is not only well beyond what I deserve, but it’s a reflection of the extent and generosity of your spirit,” Biden told Obama.

Obama — making fun of Biden’s once saying passing health care was a “big f—-ing deal” on an open mic, told Biden his getting the medal of freedom was of course, “A big deal.” The president left out the expletive.

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The medal was given “with distinction,” an honor only afforded to three other people: Ronald Reagan, Colin Powell and Pope John Paul II.