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Medal of Freedom: Biden honors 17 people



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The 17 people would be the first individuals Biden will honor with the nation’s highest civilian honor since taking workplace. Vice President Kamala Harris and second gentleman Doug Emhoff attended the ceremony on the White Home as effectively.

“The Fourth of July week reminds us what introduced us collectively way back, and nonetheless binds us — binds us at our greatest, what we try for. We the individuals, doing what we will to make sure that the thought of America, the reason for freedom, shines just like the Solar to mild up the way forward for the world,” Biden stated in his opening remarks.

The medal is “introduced to people who’ve made exemplary contributions to the prosperity, values, or safety of the USA, world peace, or different important societal, public or personal endeavors,” the White Home stated.

Megan Rapinoe, a member of the US girls’s nationwide soccer staff who’s an Olympic gold medalist and two-time Girls’s World Cup champion, will change into the primary feminine soccer participant to obtain the medal.

Gold Star father Khizr Khan, who served on the USA Fee on Worldwide Spiritual Freedom, and Catholic social justice chief Sister Simone Campbell, the previous govt director of NETWORK who leads the “Nuns on the Bus,” a gaggle of politically energetic nuns, may also obtain the award.

The record of recipients additionally contains Fred Grey, who was one of many first Black members of the Alabama state legislature since Reconstruction and who represented Rosa Parks, the NAACP, and Martin Luther King as an legal professional. It additionally contains some of the adorned girls within the historical past of the US army, retired Brigadier Common Wilma Vaught; a essential care nurse who was the primary American to obtain a Covid-19 vaccine exterior of scientific trials, Sandra Lindsay; and the primary Hispanic lady to function a school president, Dr. Julieta García.

Lindsay advised CNN’s Boris Sanchez on Thursday that she needed to make use of her platform to encourage individuals to get vaccinated in opposition to Covid-19.

Her message to these nonetheless skeptical about getting the vaccine, she stated, is “proceed to do your analysis. Attain out to individuals you belief. I’m nonetheless right here, it has been virtually three years and I proceed to advocate. So if you’re not protected but, please exit and get your self protected.”

Different recipients embrace: Civil rights activist Diane Nash, who labored with Martin Luther King and is a founding member of the Pupil Nonviolent Coordinating Committee; Father Alexander Karloutsos, the previous vicar basic of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America; civil rights advocate Raúl Yzaguirre, who served as CEO and president of Nationwide Council of La Raza; former Republican Sen. Alan Simpson of Wyoming; and former AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka, who can be awarded the medal posthumously.

“President Biden has lengthy stated that America could be outlined by one phrase: prospects. These 17 Individuals exhibit the ability of prospects and embody the soul of the nation — onerous work, perseverance, and religion,” the White Home stated in an announcement.

Biden is a Medal of Freedom honoree himself. Then-President Barack Obama shocked his vice chairman with the award in 2017.

CNN’s Maegan Vazquez contributed to this report.