Democrat President Joe Biden is awarding the Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor, to 17 people including US women’s soccer star Megan Rapinoe and the late Sen. John McCain (R-AZ).
Biden will also give the medal posthumously to McCain along with several people including Apple co-founder Steve Jobs and AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka.
Biden’s list includes:
- Sister Simone Campbell, who previously led the Catholic social justice organization NETWORK
- Father Alexander Karloutsos, a priest who has provided counsel to several US presidents
- Fred Gray, one of the first black members of the Alabama State legislature since Reconstruction
- Diane Nash, a civil rights organizer
- Raúl Yzaguirre, a civil rights advocate and former US ambassador to the Dominican Republic
- Academy Award-winning actor Denzel Washington
- Former Arizona Democratic Rep. Gabrielle Giffords
- Olympic athletes Simone Biles and Megan Rapinoe
“In that moment I spoke to the president, I was, and still am, totally overwhelmed,” Rapinoe said before adding that she is thinking “all the people who I feel deserve a part of this medal.”
“I am humbled and truly honored to be chosen for this award by President Biden and feel as inspired and motivated as ever to continue this long history of fighting for the freedoms of all people.
“To quote Emma Lazarus, ‘Until we are all free, we are none of us free.’”
“Since I was shot more than 11 years ago, my personal recovery journey has taught me that it’s not the setback that defines us: it’s how we respond to it.
“There have been no shortage of setbacks as I relearned how to talk and how to walk, just as there have been no shortage of setbacks in the fight for gun safety that I’ve dedicated my life to.
“And yet I’ve never lost hope.
“One of my reasons for hope sits inside the Oval Office today, elected to accomplish the near-impossible task of healing a divided nation,” she said.
According to CNN:
“Other recipients include Dr. Julieta García — the first Hispanic woman to serve as a college president, Gold Star father Khizr Khan, Sandra Lindsay — a New York nurse who was the first American to receive a Covid-19 vaccine outside of clinical trials, and Brigadier General Wilma Vaught — one of the most decorated women in the history of the US military.
“According to the White House, Biden will present the awards on Thursday, July 7 at the White House.
“Biden is a Medal of Freedom honoree himself.
“Then-President Barack Obama surprised his vice president with the award in 2017.”
BIDEN is giving the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Gabby Giffords, Simone Biles, Steve Jobs, John McCain, Megan Rapinoe, Alan Simpson, Richard Trumka and Denzel Washington. Among others
— Jake Sherman (@JakeSherman) July 1, 2022
President Biden has announced new recipients of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, including:
Sister Simone Campbell
Fmr. Rep. Gabby Giffords
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) July 1, 2022