Fifteen receive US Presidential Medal of Freedom
Thursday, February 17, 2011
Barack Obama presented the to fifteen people Tuesday, including former US President and current Angela Merkel. The award—the US's top civilian medal—is given to those who have made "an especially meritorious contribution to the security or national interests of the United States, world peace, cultural or other significant public or private endeavors."
The fifteen medal recipients were chosen in 2010, but not all of them were present to receive the award at the Afghanistan. The medal recipients "reveal the best of who were are and who we inspire to be," said Obama.Tuesday. Merkel did not attend the ceremony, and the award for was given to his wife because the winning optometrist had been killed in August while working in
The other winners are:, environmental advocate; , poet and author; , billionaire executive and philanthropist; , contemporary artist; , survivor; , cellist; civil rights activist; , retired baseball player; , retired basketball coach and player; , diplomat and disabilities advocate; and , former president of the .