United States President Joe Biden awarded seventeen recipients the Presidential Medal of Freedom this week, the highest civilian honor that can be bestowed upon an American.
The honor is given to “individuals who have made exemplary contributions to the prosperity, values, or security of the United States, world peace, or other significant societal, public or private endeavors,” according to a White House statement this week.
“These seventeen Americans demonstrate the power of possibilities and embody the soul of the nation – hard work, perseverance, and faith,” said the White House. “They have overcome significant obstacles to achieve impressive accomplishments in the arts and sciences, dedicated their lives to advocating for the most vulnerable among us, and acted with bravery to drive change in their communities – and across the world – while blazing trails for generations to come.”
Simone Biles and Megan Rapinoe are now 2 of only 6 female athletes to have received the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Biles is being honored for her advocacy of mental health, children in foster care, and sexual assault, as well as her athletic accomplishments as a United States gymnast. Rapinoe is being awarded the honor for her continued fight for equal pay for female athletes, racial equality and LGBTQ+ rights.
Other recipients include Sandra Lindsey, a nurse who received the first US dose of the COVID-19 vaccine outside of trials, as well as the late Senator John McCain, who is being honored posthumously for his military service and his time in public service as an Arizona lawmaker. Gabrielle Giffords, who is a survivor of gun violence after being shot in 2011 at a political gathering in Tucson, will also be honored.
The medal awards ceremony will take place next Thursday at the White House.
ARTICLE: LAURA SPIVAK
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: KENOSHA NEWS
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