President Obama awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Vice President Biden

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Obama described Biden as a “lion of American history” and praised his long service in the Senate. As vice president, Biden’s influence has spanned both domestic and international policy initiatives. He was a critical voice in crafting strategy in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and in encouraging Obama to send Navy SEALs on a mission to capture or kill Osama bin Laden in 2011. Vice President Joe Biden also remembered the strength he found in his two sons, Beau and Hunter, and his wife Jill. Biden said that he and Obama had on occasion differed on matters of policy but that he had never doubted Obama’s judgment. After the ceremony it was a reunion for the many staffers and colleagues who worked with Biden over the years.

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