US President Barack Obama surprised his Vice President, Joe Biden, on Thursday (12 January) by awarding him the Presidential Medal of Freedom during a farewell ceremony at the White House.

Joe Biden
12 January 2017: US President Barack Obama presents the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Vice President Joe Biden in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, DCYuri Gripas/Reuters

Describing the Vice President and longtime Delaware senator as a "the best vice president America has ever had" Barack Obama presented Biden with the Medal of Freedom, which is the highest award a president can present to a civilian. It is also the only time Obama has gave the honour "with distinction."

"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, after receiving the prestigious award. "Mr. President, you know as long as there is breath in me, I will be there for you. My whole family will be. And I know. I know it is reciprocal. And I want to I want to thank you all so very, very, very much." he continued.

The Democratic President is preparing to leave the White House on 20 January, after eight years in office, and will be replaced by Republican Donald Trump. IBTimesUK takes a look back at some of Barack Obama's best moments with Vice President Joe Biden:

Obama and Biden
23 August 2008: US Democratic presidential candidate Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) (R) and his vice presidential running mate Senator Joe Biden (D-DE) attend a campaign event at the Old State Capitol in Springfield, IllinoisKamil Krzaczynski/Reuters
Obama and Biden
29 August 2008: US Democratic presidential nominee Senator Barack Obama (D-IL)(R) and his vice presidential running mate Senator Joe Biden (D-DE) buy ice cream during a campaign stop at Windmill Ice Cream Shop in Aliquippa, PennsylvaniaJim Young/Reuters
Obama and Biden
31 August 2008: US Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama eats alongside his running mate Joe Biden during a stop at the Pier 32 restaurant in Hamilton, IndianaSaul Loeb/AFP
Obama and Biden
28 August 2008: Democratic Vice-Presidential candidate Sen. Joe Biden (D-DE), points to the crowd as Presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) looks on after his acceptance speech, while Obama's daughters Sasha and Malia stand to the right, at the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver, ColoradoJim Young/Reuters
Obama and Biden
4 November 2008: Democratic president-elect Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) (R) embraces his wife Michelle as vice-president-elect Sen. Joe Biden (D-DE) (L) embraces his wife Jill during their election night rally in ChicagoJason Reed/Reuters
Obama and Biden
4 November 2008: US President-elect Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) and Vice President-elect Senator Joe Biden (D-DE) stand with Biden's mother Jean during their election night victory rally in ChicagoGary Hershorn/Reuters
Obama and Biden
14 January 2009: President-elect Barack Obama and Vice President-elect Senator Joe Biden meet at the presidential transition office in Washington, DCKevin Lamarque/Reuters
Obama and Biden
30 January 2010: US President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden (C) and Biden's son Hunter Biden attend an NCAA basketball game between Georgetown University and Duke University in Washington, DCJonathan Ernst/Reuters
Obama and Biden
17 March 2010: US President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Bidenreact as Prime Minister of Ireland Brian Cowen speaks during the annual St. Patrick's Day Reception in the East Room of the White House in Washington, DCMichael Reynolds/Getty Images
Obama and Biden
11 June 2011: "The top photograph shows the President having a water gun fight with his daughter Sasha on her birthday weekend at Camp David. Unbeknownst to me, David Lienemann captured a similar photo of the Vice President on the very same day."Pete Souza/David Lienemann/The White House
Obama and Biden
30 September 2011: US President Barack Obama wipes his face as he and Vice President Joe Biden attend the "Change of Office" Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff ceremony at Fort Myer in Arlington, VirginiaKevin Lamarque/Reuters
Obama and Biden
16 January 2012: President Barack Obama stands with Vice President Joe Biden, before signing an executive order designed to tackle gun control in Washington, DCMark Wilson/Getty Images
Obama and Biden
6 September 2012: First lady Michelle Obama hugs Democratic vice presidential candidate, US Vice President Joe Biden as Second lady Dr. Jill Biden waves with Democratic presidential candidate, US President Barack Obama during the final day of the Democratic National Convention at Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte, North CarolinaAlex Wong/Getty Images
Obama and Biden
7 September 2012: US President Barack Obama stands with his back to the camera, as he waits for first lady Michelle Obama (L-R), U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, and Biden's wife Jill to join him on stage at a campaign event at the Strawbery Banke Museum in Portsmouth, New HampshireLarry Downing/Reuters
Obama and Biden
6 June 2015: US President Barack Obama (R) hugs Vice President Joe Biden during the funeral of his son former Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden as Biden's widow Hallie (L) passes her husband's casket at St. Anthony of Padua church in Wilimington, DelawareKevin Lamarque/Reuters
Obama and Biden
25 June 2015: US President Barack Obama watches the reaction of Vice President Joe Biden as he delivers remarks after the Supreme Court ruled 6-3 to uphold the nationwide availability of tax subsidies that are crucial to the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, in the Rose Garden at the White House, WashingtonGary Cameron/Reuters
Obama and Biden
4 August 2016: “With some staff watching in the background, President Obama blows out candles after the Vice President surprised him with some birthday cupcakes.”Pete Souza/The White House
Obama and Biden
9 November 2016: President Barack Obama addresses the nation publicly for the first time since the shock election of Donald Trump as his successor, together with Vice President Joe Biden at the White House in Washington, DCNicholas Kamm/AFP
Obama and Biden
13 December 2016: Vice President Joe Biden tries to quell the applause after US President Barack Obama called Biden the greatest Vice President in history during a signing ceremony for the 21st Century Cures Act at the White House in Washington, DCKevin Lamarque/Reuters
Obama and Biden
10 January 2017: US President Barack Obama is joined onstage by Vice President Joe Biden after his farewell address in Chicago, IllinoisJonathan Ernst/Reuters