Joe Biden Honoured 19 With Presidential Medal of Freedom

President Joe Biden honored 19 individuals with the prestigious Presidential Medal of Freedom during a ceremony at the White House on Friday….

President Joe Biden honored 19 individuals with the prestigious Presidential Medal of Freedom during a ceremony at the White House on Friday. Among the esteemed recipients were civil rights champions like the late Medgar Evers, prominent political figures such as former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and acclaimed actor Michelle Yeoh.

In his remarks, President Biden emphasized the significance of the award as “the nation’s highest civilian honor” and praised this year’s honorees as “incredible individuals whose unwavering curiosity, creativity, and hope continue to inspire faith in a brighter future.”

Clarence B. Jones, a recipient of the medal, shared his initial disbelief upon receiving the unexpected call from the White House. “I thought it was a prank,” Jones recalled, reflecting on the surreal moment.

Jones, aged 93, was recognized for his pivotal role in the Civil Rights Movement, serving as a legal advisor to Martin Luther King Jr. and contributing to the drafting of the iconic “I Have a Dream” speech delivered at the 1963 March on Washington.

The diverse group of honorees spans various fields including politics, sports, entertainment, civil rights advocacy, LGBTQ+ activism, science, and religion. Notable figures among them include former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Rep. James Clyburn, former Vice President Al Gore, and the late Sen. Frank Lautenberg.

President Biden acknowledged the instrumental support of individuals like Clyburn in his presidential campaign, underscoring their contributions to his victory in the Democratic primaries and subsequent election to the White House.

Additionally, the ceremony paid tribute to the legacy of individuals who made significant contributions to society posthumously, such as Medgar Evers, whose courageous efforts against segregation in Mississippi left an indelible mark on history.

Michelle Yeoh, acclaimed for her groundbreaking achievements in cinema, notably became the first Asian woman to receive an Academy Award for Best Actress for her role in “Everything, Everywhere All at Once.”

The ceremony also honored trailblazers like Jim Thorpe, the first Native American to win an Olympic gold medal for the United States, and Judy Shepard, who co-founded the Matthew Shepard Foundation in memory of her son, a victim of a hate crime.

Reflecting on the honor, Clarence B. Jones expressed his gratitude and readiness to continue serving, despite his age and health challenges. “I’m looking forward to whatever the White House would like for me to do,” Jones remarked, echoing the sentiment of humility and dedication shared by all the recipients.