The Presidential Medal of Freedom, the Nation’s highest civilian honor, will be presented by President Obama to nineteen of the most inspiring Americans on Wednesday, November 24, 2014.
The medal honors those individuals who have contributed to the security or national interests of the United States, world peace, cultural or other significant public or private endeavors. Meryl Streep, Stevie Wonder, and Tom Brokaw are a few of this year’s recipients.
Streep’s talent as an actor is perfection; her ability to portray characters in such an authentic, emotional way you forget she’s acting, is what sets her apart from the rest of Hollywood, and it’s the reason she holds the record for the most Academy Award nominations of any actor in history.
Stevie Wonder’s music has traveled all around the world for years, becoming instantly recognizable anywhere, not just for his voice but his creativity and expertise as a musician. Not only is he a Kennedy Center Honoree, but he’s also a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the winner of 25 Grammys, and an Academy Award.
Tom Brokaw has been one of the most respected and familiar faces in journalism, and has been recognized by the Edward R. Murrow Lifetime Achievement Award, two Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Awards, received eleven Emmys, and two Peabody awards.
The remaining recipients for this year’s award are Ethel Kennedy; composer Stephen Sondheim; choreographer Alvin Ailey; novelist Isabel Allende; civil rights activist and “Freedom Summer” participants James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner; physicist Mildred Dresselhaus; Rep. John Dingell of Michigan; writer and activist Suzan Harjo; Federal judge and former Rep. Abner Mikva of Illinois; Rep. Patsy Takemoto Mink of Hawaii; Rep. Edward Roybal of California; professional golfer Charles Sifford; economist Robert Solow; and social activist Marlo Thomas.
In his official statement, President Obama said, “I look forward to presenting these nineteen bold, inspiring Americans with our Nation’s highest civilian honor. From activists who fought for change to artists who explored the furthers reaches of our imagination; from scientists who kept America on the cutting edge to public servants who help write new chapters in our American story, these citizens have made extraordinary contributions to our country and the world.”