Obama’s Final Time Presenting the Presidential Medal of Freedom

Boston Globe

Tuesday, November 28th marked the final time that President Barack Obama would present the Presidential Medal of Freedom to the 21 deserving recipients. The Medal of Freedom is one of the two highest possible civilian awards in the United States, tying with the Congressional Gold Medal. The award recognizes people “who make an especially meritorious contribution to the security or national interests of the United States, world peace, cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.” Previous recipients of the Medal of Freedom include Mother Teresa, Harper Lee, Aretha Franklin, and Jackie Robinson.

Perhaps the best thing about the award is the wide variety of people it recognizes. People who specialize in the arts, history, philanthropy, sports, business, education, and more areas are recognized. The recipients also include people of all different genders, races, and sexual orientations.

The award, as a whole, recognizes everything beautiful about America.

Here is the full list of the 21 recipients of the Presidential Medal of Honor:

  • Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
  • Elouise Cobell
  • Ellen DeGeneres
  • Robert De Niro
  • Richard Garwin
  • Bill Gates
  • Melinda Gates
  • Frank Gehry
  • Margaret H. Hamilton
  • Tom Hanks
  • Grace Hopper
  • Michael Jordan
  • Maya Lin
  • Lorne Michaels
  • Newt Minow
  • Eduarda Padrón
  • Robert Redford
  • Diana Ross
  • Vin Scully
  • Bruce Springsteen
  • Cicely Tyson

Congratulations to all of the recipients and thank you for continuing to make America proud with your contributions and accomplishments. Thank you, President Barack Obama for awarding 123 medals, a record number, during your presidency. I find myself more inspired every day by the people on this list and off who continue to make America a proud and accomplished nation.

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