Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Obama honors 16 with Medal of Freedom

President Barack Obama on Wednesday awarded the nation's highest civilian honor to 16 people whose lifetime accomplishments made them "agents of change"

"What unites them is a belief ... that our lives are what we make of them, that no barriers of race, gender or physical infirmity can restrain the human spirit, and that the truest test of a person's life is what we do for one another," Obama said during a White House ceremony in the East Room.

"The recipients of the Medal of Freedom did not set out to win this or any other award. They did not set out in pursuit of glory or fame or riches," Obama said. "Rather they set out, guided by passion, committed to hard work, aided by persistence, often with few advantages but the gifts, grace and good name God gave them."

This is the first time during his presidency that Obama has awarded such medals.

Obama: Medal of Freedom winners are 'agents of change'

USA Today
Today's recipients of the Presidential Medal of Freedom are an honor roll of civil rights. They range from Sidney Poitier, the first black man to win an Oscar; to Billie Jean Moffitt King, a pioneer in equal rights for women and gays as well as a ...

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