Gar Travis forwarded this article about the recent White House ceremony for the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Former President George H.W. Bush, poet Maya Angelou, and sports greats Stan Musial and Bill Russell received the highest U.S. civilian award Tuesday.
They joined 11 others Tuesday at the White House in receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom -- which recognizes people who have made "an especially meritorious contribution to the security or national interests of the United States, world peace, cultural or other significant public or private endeavors." The other recipients include civil rights leader U.S. Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., visual artist Jasper Johns and billionaire investor Warren Buffett, the White House said.
President Barack Obama also gave the award, not limited to U.S. citizens, to German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French-born U.S. cellist Yo-Yo Ma and Auschwitz concentration-camp survivor and humanitarian Gerda Weissmann Klein.
I believe these awards are bestowed annually, although the last E-Sylum article I found was in August 2009. I still can't help but think these gatherings offer a bizarre aggregation of people one would never otherwise see in the same room. This year's humorous visual was when the already-tall President Obama (6'1") strained to place the medal on the neck of 6'9" basketball player Bill Russell. Here's the photo from elsewhere on the web.
To read the complete article, see:
15 receive Presidential Medal of Freedom
To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:
PRESIDENTIAL MEDALS OF FREEDOM AWARDED IN WHITE HOUSE CEREMONY
Wayne Homren, Editor
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