Obama welcomes Medal of Freedom recipients to White House
Photo credit: Khalil Abdallah/CNN
May 29th, 2012
06:36 PM ET

Obama welcomes Medal of Freedom recipients to White House

WHITE HOUSE (CNN) - President Obama honored a dozen heroes from all different aspects of life to the White House and presented them with the highest civilian honor, the Medal of Freedom. The group of honorees included signer and songwriter Bob Dylan, former astronaut and senator John Glenn, former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, and legendary women’s basketball coach Pat Summitt. Three recipients were honored posthumously, including the founder of the Girl Scouts Juliette Gordon Low.

Obama commented that all 13 individuals were personal heroes in his life. He mentioned reading novelist Toni Morrison’s Song of Solomon as a teenager and listening to Dylan’s music when he was in college. He praised John Doar for his work as a Justice Department official who enforced civil rights in the 1960s. “I think it's fair to say that I might not be here had it not been for his work,” the president said.

He also mentioned how the winners had impacted his family, particularly his daughters’ lives.

“Everybody on this stage has marked my life in profound ways.  And I was telling - somebody like Pat Summitt - when I think about my two daughters, who are tall and gifted, and knowing that because of folks like Coach Summitt they’re standing up straight and diving after loose balls and feeling confident and strong, then I understand that the impact that these people have had extends beyond me,” Obama said. “It will continue for generations to come.”

For more of the story, check out what our friends at CNN wires wrote here.

soundoff (21 Responses)
  1. jerry

    and he awards this medal to Albrite...who is currently a paid lobbyist of China...and a complete failure as secretary of state...a true embarrassment to hard working Americans who can think for themselves.

    May 29, 2012 at 9:43 pm |
    • Mark Glicker

      It is an election year.

      May 29, 2012 at 10:55 pm |
    • dave

      o but it was okay when cheney allowed energy companies to dictate energy policy

      May 30, 2012 at 12:07 am |
      • John

        Is Obama the new Cheney? Did Cheney have a kill list? Don't get me wrong, I like the idea of a kill list for the terrorists who want to kills us. It is about what Obama and the dems said about Cheney and Bush and how they should be prosecuted for murder. Now we have Obama and his administration saying they do in fact have a kill list? Lib dems are classic. You can't make up this kind of stuff...

        May 30, 2012 at 7:32 am |
  2. PJ

    Mr Obama saw fit to recall false stereotype of "Polish death camps". In this way, Obama stained the honor of the medal of freedom and returned to the days before the secession when whites killed Indians and imported African slaves. Mr Obama as a wise man could commit such an error. This is also the tragedy of the holocaust of Poles, Slavic, Jews, Romanians, British, Russian, French, Irish, Turk, Americans, Germans...

    May 30, 2012 at 4:48 am |
    • demwit

      Misspoke!? How can Obama misspeak a pre-written speech?? I'm so confused...

      May 30, 2012 at 8:06 am |
      • Name*Liz Carter

        Well that says to me that he does speak sometimes on his own, without having to read a teleprompter pressed up against his jaw, up his nose or a piece of paper. You all claim he can't put a sentence together or utter a word without them!! Did you read the whole thread about it, and the explanation as to what happened and why?? It was logical and a reasonable enough explanation to me and most sensisible folk, I though!! But that's just me!! You are a 'dimwit', @demwit!!

        June 1, 2012 at 12:39 am |
  3. lucy

    and he mentioned " Polish death camp"...

    May 30, 2012 at 4:48 am |
  4. Krizan

    And says "Polish death camps" which is a sign of ignorance and shame.

    May 30, 2012 at 5:06 am |
    • RealityBites

      How could CNN's ace reporter Becky Brittain miss that one!?
      Another sign of ignorance and incompitence or perhaps a designer question "not of interest: to CNNs readers??

      May 30, 2012 at 9:14 am |
  5. Free Man in the Republic of Texas

    Highest Civilian Honor !!!
    Bob Dylan ???

    FORWARD to total depravity !!!

    May 30, 2012 at 6:50 am |
  6. tomclements

    Pat Summitt sure looks elated by the honor!!

    May 30, 2012 at 8:01 am |
    • John

      And – what is Obama looking at?
      This is very unusual for CNN – usually their shots of Obama look very presidential.

      May 30, 2012 at 8:24 am |
    • Mark Glicker

      Pat Summitt is a class lady.

      May 30, 2012 at 11:46 am |
  7. leroy

    Looks like Obama's sneaking a peek at some white meat in the photo.

    May 30, 2012 at 10:01 am |
    • DEcember 2012



      May 31, 2012 at 5:11 am |
    • Name*Liz Carter

      If he is looking at white meat, he's probably trying to imagine if it would look even better, dark!! He loves dark meat!! He's proved that already!! That's his choice!!

      June 1, 2012 at 1:07 am |
  8. ct

    "Iraq is a long way from [here], but what happens there matters a great deal here. For the risks that the leaders of a rogue state will use nuclear, chemical or biological weapons against us or our allies is the greatest security threat we face."
    –Madeline Albright, Feb 18, 1998

    May 30, 2012 at 6:38 pm |
  9. jerry

    and thennnnn obama stuck his ignorant foot in his mouth with the "Polish death camp" statement. The Pols do remember him selling them out two years ago and we all know how obama feels about Israel (and Jews)... a Freudian slip? hahaha

    May 30, 2012 at 7:24 pm |
    • Name*Liz Carter

      Run for President Jerry!! Put your political savvy to work where it counts!! I know you can do it!! You are proving it right here on this blog site!!! You old veteran politician you!! You have all the answers to EVERYTHING!! If they can pull Mitt out of the hat, I know they'd just love you!! Give it a go!! The Rethugs will just love you!!

      June 1, 2012 at 12:46 am |
  10. JohnnyYuma61

    Obama could have asked Dylan, "How does it feel?"

    May 30, 2012 at 8:32 pm |