President George H. W. Bush
February 15th, 2011
02:30 PM ET

Presidential Medal of Freedom

WASHINGTON (CNN) - A former U.S. president, along with legendary names from the worlds of business, literature, sports, civil rights, labor rights and politics were at the White House on Tuesday as President Obama awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom to fifteen people.

The medal, the nation's highest civilian honor, is presented to individuals who have made especially meritorius contributions to the security, or national interests of the United States, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavours according to the White House.

Check out this photo gallery from Senior Supervising Producer Stacia Deshishku of all of this year's recipients.

soundoff (38 Responses)
  1. vera p

    I'm fascinated by the use of the British spelling "endeavours," instead of the U.S. "endeavors." Why?

    February 15, 2011 at 1:08 pm |
  2. Liz Carter in GA

    I'm grateful that somebody finally came to the realization that the Georgia Representative John Lewis, a renowned 'CIVIL RIGHTS' worker, who marched so closely with the LATE GREAT MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR, was beaten on the EDMOND PETTUS BRIDGE in SELMA, AL and jailed like all the others; trying to secure equality for ALL AMERICANS, especially blacks, denouncing discrimination and segregation during the 50s and the 60s. I think it's 'high time' CONGRESSMAN JOHN LEWIS was honoured with THE MEDAL OF FREEDOM.

    February 15, 2011 at 4:12 pm |
    • Jay in NC

      John Lewis always enjoyed sowing the seeds of hatred and division. There is no need for his brand of hostility in modern politics. Twenty four years in office is way too long. If you want to understand why our country is in dire straits then take a look at the incumbents. Thankfully Lewis' old style preacher cantor has fallen out of favor with the rest of the nation. If only the locals would elect someone with a modern attitude we could get this country moving.

      February 15, 2011 at 5:15 pm |
  3. Jay in NC

    Yo Yo Ma? You have got to be kidding. This is they guy that faked playing at the inauguration. He is like Barry's administration, all hype.

    February 15, 2011 at 5:43 pm |
  4. 4myskin

    Well...not sure what the German Chancellor has to do with the US...but OK, whatever. It looks like there's some very deserving people in the list at any rate.

    February 16, 2011 at 11:19 am |
  5. Liz Carter in Georgia

    Jay, you take GREAT pleasure and put in tedious, HARD work at demeaning, sanitizing and dismantling anything that has been accomplished BY or even with the assistance of a BLACK hand, and head, PERIOD! 'John Lewis always enjoyed sowing the seeds of hatred and division'? Even a FOOL knows better than to say that! That man has been up in WASHINGTON trying to show us all; even after all he experienced, how to get along, work together to find common grounds for agreement and bipartisanship! YOU SO THOSE SEEDS!

    February 16, 2011 at 12:29 pm |
    • Jay in NC

      "how to get along, work together to find common grounds for agreement and bipartisanship" Name one vote that he cast that you think supports that statement.

      February 16, 2011 at 1:47 pm |
  6. Liz Carter in Georgia

    If us locals were to elect 'someone with a more modern attitude', so you say, that person would still be met there, by the old 'GOOD OLE BOY' gang framework and it's lingering subjegating 'slaverytime' mentality; cowardly shrouded under the guise of 'POLITICS' and the fake, panic-ridden, fearmongering antics of 'media guided public ill-perception of concerns thereof! The ones who ARE elected with a more 'modern attitude' will still be subjected to people like YOU! Exp: the MODERN ATTITUDE administration!!

    February 16, 2011 at 1:44 pm |
    • Jay in NC

      More Liberal name calling. Why is it every time you disagree you call someone a boy or bigot?

      February 16, 2011 at 2:07 pm |
  7. Liz Carter in Georgia

    YO YO MA is one of the greatest musicians in the world! If honest, unbiased historians continue to document and ledger the activities, policies, decisions, and accomplishments of the OBAMA ADMINISTRATION, it will go down in AMERICAN HISTORY as ONE of the greatest administrations this nation has ever ELECTED! You are a jealous, hateful person, Jay! YOU fan the flames of hatred, bigotry and division on this blog and it's no telling where else! For you, if it ain't white, it ain't right! And black get back!!

    February 16, 2011 at 2:13 pm |
    • Jay in NC

      I have never talked about my race on this blog. It is amazing that just because I appose Barry's policies you assume that I am white. If you do not agree with me so be it but that does not give you the right to be a racist.

      February 16, 2011 at 2:28 pm |
    • Frank in NJ

      OK, Liz, I get your extreme bias, but what is with the random capitalization?

      February 16, 2011 at 5:17 pm |
  8. cpmondello

    what a disgrace America is..i see taxes are still being used for useless things and on a group of the usual scum bags.

    February 16, 2011 at 5:16 pm |
  9. Liz Carter in Georgia

    Did I call you a boy? I don't know if you're a boy or a man. I don't believe you are a woman or a girl and according to your blogs, most times you sound like a bigot! Many of your antaganistic comments hit to the core of OBAMA and his family, personally! They aren't at all about his policies alone! That's usually when I address or jump to his defense! Then you come back with some sarcastic argument about a decision or policy he's trying to implement that, of course, you don't like; and that's ALL of them!

    February 16, 2011 at 7:20 pm |
    • Jay in NC

      You called me a good old boy! And I repeat.... I have never talked about my race on this blog. Your assumption that I am white proves you are racist.

      February 16, 2011 at 7:42 pm |
  10. johnbchef12

    Things that piss me off…That the Government just keeps putting things into our heads. Foreign oil and the good of natural energy. By buying foreign oil we would be supporting terrorism. I mean the media is getting this information and will just keep putting these bits of information into our heads because our government tells them its what’s most important. Disinformation and distraction has been always been the key to empowerment. You can’t trust what you read anymore especially on the internet. The more people are disgusted with war and death the more war and death there will be. I heard once from a Vietnam Vet that, “we should just drop a bomb on the all the oil infested countries and just take over and distribute the oil to the world, no lying about it. Just say it’s for the good of mankind. It will create jobs and take power away from terrorism and fear from the eyes of all Americans. ” Now I thought to myself, wow that’s kind of immoral this guy is nuts. But then it made sense to me on an even bigger picture. Take the oil and there is only the deep hole it will leave in the world to fix. It made sense but killing like that would leave a bad taste in any ones mouth. So what to do? How do we address the problems that we are facing for our own country today? The U.S is destroying its lands by looking for natural gas and energy to replace the dependency of foreign oil and the last of the oil we have in Alaska. Not just for the United States but for Europe as well. People have been polluting the ocean with offshore drilling and have been for years. Soon faster than the data shows we will have no more Yellowstone’s no more Rocky Mountains, no more clean Oceans, and then no more food. Is that what we want? What should happen? This to me is greater than our government greater than any world leader. They have messed things up for us and will continue to do so because that’s the only thing they know how to do. Sure employment and health care are important we don’t need money to sustain our self or the government. Look what they have done to us lost jobs, lost homes, and worst lost loved ones. What’s next, what do we let them ruin for us the land the environment. This is something that we need to address immediately before health care and jobs for the people. I love this land and the people, I love the beaches in San Diego, the Mountains in Lake Tahoe and I’m sure people love the areas where they live but the people in charge can’t and won’t change. There is way too much on their plates. One thing that evolution has told us is that we follow and we’re weak. I don’t have the answers but I do know that within five years things will start happening and we won’t know how to address them because we rely on to many outlets to get our info not knowing which is valid or not. Getting our information from the media, which gets its info from the government. And wow we are so stupid we follow celebrities around and emulate their opinions more than that of the president. Who we should be watching? Maybe anyone who gains by destroying our land, our oceans our rivers and streams. Maybe the president and the politicians or the big companies that have a say in what is done in U.S today. In the long run the land is for us and we should do whatever it takes to keep it beautiful not just for the environment and animal groups and especially not for governments and huge corporate companies but for the future kids who should have the possibility to find joy in it. Being able to play outside or jump in a lake or go ice skating. If money wasn’t an issue wouldn’t the next thing you would want is somewhere nice to live, some places that you hold dear to your heart. This is bigger than health care bigger then unemployment; this is your survival instinct kicking in. Maybe you pay attention maybe you don’t. But now we are all warned, we should start paying attention. I will be the first to say I will no longer be distracted.
    CAN YOU?

    February 16, 2011 at 7:27 pm |
  11. Liz Carter in Georgia

    I didn't create that word 'boy'; nor did I create the phrase, 'The Good Ole Boys'! The phrase was constructed by 'THE GOOD OLE BOYS', themselves. 'The Good Ole Boys' still refer to themselves as 'The Good Ole Boys'! Especially in the South! I'm surprised if YOU aren't aware of that! There must be some in the white community who don't want to accept that 'fact', and I don't blame them, but it's true! I haven't called you or anyone on this blog 'boy'! 'THE GOOD OLE BOYS' is the only time I ever use 'boy'!

    February 16, 2011 at 7:46 pm |
  12. Liz Carter in Georgia

    In reference to your remark that you never talked about your race on this blog, well you didn't have to. It shows in your exchanges and debates with me and others! Oftentimes, in the past you have made comments to me which included assertions like 'you people', 'why do african AMERICANS.

    February 16, 2011 at 8:07 pm |
  13. Liz Carter in Georgia

    In reference to your remark that you never talked about your race on this blog, well you didn't have to. It shows in your exchanges and debates with me and others! Oftentimes, in the past you have made comments to me which included assertions like 'you people', 'why do AFRICAN AMERICANS think...', 'the black community....', as if you are NOT in that group! I don't know one BLACK person that would have said what you said about John Lewis; he 'enjoyed sowing seeds of hatred and division'! Sounds white to me!

    February 16, 2011 at 8:32 pm |
    • Jay in NC


      February 16, 2011 at 9:19 pm |
  14. Liz Carter in Georgia

    Mostly everything PRES OBAMA has signed off on was due to some bipartisan compromise and agreement, including the HEALTH CARE BILL! The GOP went with him on it, as long as he agreed to forget the 'public option' part of it! INS LOBBYISTS! Of course, there are, and seems like always will be 'stonwallers' on both sides, DEMOCRATS and REPUBLICANS, on everything he attempts to get through! However, there is some bipartisan agreement coming on both sides and the majority rules! So what else do you have for me?

    February 16, 2011 at 8:51 pm |
    • Jay in NC

      More of your lies Liz. Here is the truth about the Health Care Bill.

      The bill passed in a 219-212 vote after more than a year of bitter partisan debate. All 178 Republicans opposed it, along with 34 Democrats.

      February 17, 2011 at 8:52 am |
  15. Liz Carter in Georgia

    I think your definition of a racist is quite different from MERRIAM-WEBSTERS! RACISM: a belief that some races are by nature SUPERIOR to others; also discrimination based on such belief–racist> Now how in the world can you accuse me of being a racist simply because I believe you're what MERRIAM-WEBSTER defined a racist as; notwithstanding the fact that you might have had some real political disagreements, but on EVERYTHING?? Even a daily dosage of disagreement and hateful spewing against OBAMA, personally!

    February 16, 2011 at 9:37 pm |
    • Jay in NC

      Liz you are telling more lies. Here is the truth.

      1. a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race.

      You think that because I disagree with Barry I have to be white. Thinking that a race is the primary determinant of human traits is racism. You have also said that because I talk about 'the black community' proves that I am not black. How could that be? I am being neutral. You have to be racist to think that only a white person would call it 'the black community'.

      February 17, 2011 at 9:04 am |
  16. Ayyappa Hiremath

    I really appreciate 'Giving Pledge' initiative of Mr. Warren Buffet., If possible this initiative should be made global to get more aid for philonthropical help. This is true honor to legendary investor of our time.

    February 17, 2011 at 12:50 am |
  17. Liz Carter in Georgia

    And you have to be a fool to try to flip the script and call me a racist because I see it, know the sound of it and don't mind pointing it out; and will continue to do so every time I hear it, read it or see it! I took the short definition racism out of a pocket version of a Merriam-Webster dictionary; and it said nothing alluding to the idea that a person who points it out or identifies it 'on sight' is a racist! The one you posted didn't level that 'assumption' either. SO YOU LIE! I AM A POINTER OF IT!

    February 17, 2011 at 9:59 am |
  18. Liz Carter in Georgia

    If opinions are now considered 'LIES' on this blog then YOU have presented many of them. You are angry that I pick up on your sarcastic hatred and 'divisive' spewing againt the PRESIDENT of the UNITED STATES and his family on EVERYTHING; politically and personally, ALL THE TIME! EVERYDAY! My opinion is that you are full of hate and bigotry, period! For you to even call JOHN LEWIS a racist, points a big finger to you and who you are! Whatever your color is! NEUTRAL?!?

    February 17, 2011 at 10:13 am |
    • Jay in NC


      You are a lier if you claim that the Health Care Bill is proof of Barry's bipartisan compromise. The vote was 219-212.

      You are a racist if you think that you can tell the color of my skin based on my opinion.

      Claiming that you are only pointing out racism does not give you the right to be a racist or a lier.

      February 17, 2011 at 12:56 pm |
    • Jay in NC

      Name one major policy of Barry's that you disagree with. Is the fact that you agree with him 100% make you racist? What about President Bush, why do you appose him so strongly, is it because he is white?

      February 17, 2011 at 5:49 pm |
  19. Jay in NC

    Liz Carter racist statement of the day.... "In reference to your remark that you never talked about your race on this blog, well you didn't have to. It shows in your exchanges and debates with me and others!"

    February 17, 2011 at 5:51 pm |
  20. cpmondello

    i will be smiling down from the heavens when the USA is nuked.

    February 17, 2011 at 8:06 pm |
  21. Liz Carter in Georgia

    Jay, you asked me to give you one bil that the PRESIDENT 'voted' on that signified bipartisanship and I answered it, and included the HEALTH CARE BILL. I said 'mostly everything he had signed off on was due to SOME bipartisanship and agreement'. And if I am wrong I apologize. I know they kicked and screamed, but I was truly under the impression that the GOP agreed to go along with the bill as long as OBAMA didn't push 'public option'! As a matter of fact, I heard that statement made on CNN, back then.

    February 17, 2011 at 8:44 pm |
  22. Liz Carter in Georgia

    To all who maybe concerned Jay and I have heatedly debated for months! He piggy-backed on me first; one day last summer, rebutting some comment I made and asked me the same thing you did @Frank in NJ. He asked me about my spontaneous capitilization! This time the tirade began directly after my post #2, on John Lewis. He came right behind me with the 'racist statement of the day': 'John Lewis always enjoyed sowing seeds of hatred and division. There is no need for his brand of hostility in modern politics.'?

    February 17, 2011 at 9:17 pm |
    • Jay in NC

      Sorry you see it as piggy-backing. I just clicked the 'Reply' link. Did not know that that would upset you. As far as John Lewis, what did I say that was racist?

      February 19, 2011 at 8:51 am |
  23. Liz Carter in Georgia

    @Frank in NJ; I'm sorry if you are offended by my sporadic capitalizing, but that's my own way of emphasizing a point or a word to whomever I'm replying. It's simular to how I'd be speaking directly to a person. However, there are some who come out her like I used to, in ALL CAPS! You get my bias? I believe that everybody is biased to their on personal opinions when they put them out here, until they have learned, have been shown differently, or find some intelligent or moral reason to change them.

    February 17, 2011 at 9:32 pm |
  24. Liz Carter in Georgia

    Jay, I know you're not stupid! I also know that you know that your total statement about the AFRICAN AMERICAN CONGRESSMAN JOHN LEWIS, was full of covert racism! This blog was set up for opinions and comments on all recipients that were chosen by BARACK and MICHELLE OBAMA for their meritorious accomplishments IN LIFE, IN SERVICE and HUMANITIES! You came right up with a comment against JOHN LEWIS, saying he enjoyed sowing seeds of hatred and division. 99% of the time in AMERICA, that IS racism!

    February 23, 2011 at 5:45 pm |
    • Jay in NC

      I say that someone is 'sowing seeds of hatred and division' that is racist?

      February 23, 2011 at 7:08 pm |
  25. scary games

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    June 5, 2012 at 7:45 am |