The theme of civil and human rights dominated the day within the East Room of the White Home as President Joe Biden awarded 17 Presidential Medals of Freedom.
The recipients included civil and human rights icons Fred David Grey Sr., Dianne Nash; Sister Simone Campbell; and Dr. Julieta Villarreal Garcia.
An Alabama native, Grey served as a lawyer who represented the likes of Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King Jr. in the course of the top of the Civil Rights motion. Nash was an activist, lawyer and Scholar Non-Violent Coordinating Committee founder who organized school college students in direction of democracy via scholar sit-ins. Campbell, a nun and member of Sisters of Social Providers, helped to cross the Inexpensive Care Act by guiding the “Nuns on the Bus” tour throughout the nation to guard the poor.
And pioneering educator Dr. Julieta Villarreal Garcia turned the primary Mexican American lady to steer an American school or college.
Within the sector of sports activities, Simone Biles and Megan Rapinoe had been honored. Biles, probably the most adorned athletes of all-time, was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom for her athletic accolades and advocacy for psychological well being.
In an interview following the ceremony, Biles mentioned the Medal of Freedom was completely different than her others awards as a result of she was honored to be within the firm of the opposite recipients.
Rapinoe, an Olympian and World Cup Champion, isn’t solely a protector of LGBTQIA Individuals, however led a marketing campaign to make sure equal compensation for ladies in sports activities.
Academy Award-winning actor Denzel Washington might be awarded his Medal of Freedom at a later ceremony. All through the years, Washington has served as one of many silver screens main males and has given the world extra nuanced efficiency of the Black expertise.
Rounding out the ceremony with shining examples of perseverance had been former Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, Khizr M. Khan, and Sandra Leisa Lindsay.
Giffords’ escaped the grip of loss of life resulting from gun violence that shook the acutely aware of the nation, the place she needed to study to stroll, converse, and write once more. When Khizr Khan’s son, Military Captain Humayun Khan, paid the final word sacrifice in Iraq, Khan, the daddy of a Gold Star Muslim household, turned ache into function to turn into a foremost defender of the values of the U.S. Structure and the embodiment of its highest beliefs.
An immigrant from Jamaica, Sandra Lindsay is a nurse from Queens, New York and the primary American to be vaccinated towards COVID-19 outdoors of scientific trials. On the top of the pandemic, she directed a crew of nurses as they labored tirelessly to avoid wasting sufferers whereas risking their lives. When the COVID-19 vaccine turned obtainable, she was a ray of sunshine within the darkest hours. She continues to champion vaccinations and psychological well being for well being care staff.
In his closing statements of the ceremony, President Biden said, “That is America. All of those recipients signify the perfect of America.”
The Medal of Freedom was established by President Harry S. Truman by Government Order 9586 of July 6, 1945 and was renamed the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President John F. Kennedy by Government order 11095 of February 22, 1963.
It’s the highest civil award bestowed by the American Authorities—awarded by the President of the USA to these individuals deemed to have made meritorious contributions to the safety or nationwide pursuits of the USA, to world peace, or to cultural or different important public or non-public endeavors. The Medal is awarded to Americans and residents of the world and could also be awarded posthumously.
Phrases and Images: Dr. Maurice Hobson