"This is America": Biden presents the Medal of Freedom to Simone Biles and John McCain

WASHINGTON -- On Thursday, President Joe Biden presented the Presidential Medal of Freedom (the Presidential Medal of Freedom) to 17 individuals, including former Rep.

NewsEditor
NewsEditor
07 July 2022 Thursday 14:19
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"This is America": Biden presents the Medal of Freedom to Simone Biles and John McCain

WASHINGTON -- On Thursday, President Joe Biden presented the Presidential Medal of Freedom (the Presidential Medal of Freedom) to 17 individuals, including former Rep. Gabby Giffords and Olympic gymnast Simone Biles, as well as the late-Sen. John McCain.

Biden also presented the medals, which are the highest civilian honors in the country, to Megan Rapinoe, U.S. soccer player; actor Denzel Washington; Khizr Khizr Khan; the father of a fallen Muslim U.S. Army Captain; and Sandra Lindsay who was a New York nurse who received a Covid vaccine.

Biden spoke at an event at White House and called the recipients "extraordinary, exceptional group of Americans."

Biden stated that the Fourth of July week is a reminder of what brought us together so long ago and what still binds -- binds our best, what are we striving for." We the people are doing our best to make sure that America's cause of freedom shines brightly and lights up the future.

He said, "This is America," gesturing towards the crowd of award winners.

Posthumously, three recipients received the medal: McCain, who served with Biden in the Senate and in the House, and was the Republican presidential nominee in 2008. Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple Inc., and Richard Trumka who was president AFL-CIO.

Giffords was a former congresswoman from Arizona. She was shot during a constituent event in Tucson in 2011 Giffords survived and became an advocate for gun violence prevention.

Biles is America's most decorated gymnast, having won 32 Olympic and World Championship medals. Rapinoe is an Olympic gold medalist, and a two-time Women’s World Cup champion.

Rapinoe wore a white dress with Brittney Griner's initials embroidered on the lapel. Griner, who had been held in Russia since February, pleaded guilty in Moscow to drug charges hours before the White House ceremony. Rapinoe posted an Instagram photo showing the embroidering initials and wrote, "The most important aspect of today."

Former Sen. Alan Simpson (R-Wyo.), a prominent advocate for campaign finance reform, marriage equality, and Sister Simone Campbell. Julieta Garcia was the first Hispanic woman elected to the Alabama state Legislature. Fred Gray was the first Black member of the Alabama state Legislature. Father Alexander Karloutsos is a former vicar general of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. Diane Nash, who founded the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and worked with Martin Luther King Jr. Wilma Vaught, who was a brigadier General and one of the best known in American.

The president awards the medals to those who have made significant cultural contributions or major contributions to the country or the world.

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