President Obama has chosen 15 Americans for the Medal of Freedom, and they were honored at a White House ceremony three days ago.
It was, as always, a special moment, but particularly special in the mind of the author.
This is because his childhood baseball hero, Stan Musial of the St. Louis Cardinals, who has just reached 90 years of age, was one of the honorees. It brought back memories of childhood and the thrill of watching “Stan The Man” perform flawlessly on a baseball field! 🙂
But also among the honorees was former President George H W Bush, basketball great Bill Russell of the Boston Celtics, Civil Rights leader and Congressman John Lewis of Georgia, former AFL CIO labor leader John Sweeney, poet Maya Angelou, and President Kennedy’s sister and sole survivor of the Kennedy generation of nine children, Jean Kennedy Smith, who also served as Ambassador to Ireland.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel was honored as well, along with Billionaire Warren Buffett, Cellist Yo-Yo Ma, civil rights activist Sylvia Mendez, Holocaust survivor Gerda Weissmann Klein, American artist Jasper Johns, National Resources Defense Council environmental founder John H. Adams, and humanitarian Tom Little who was killed by the Taliban in Afghanistan while providing vision care to local citizens.
As Obama said, this is one of the most enjoyable perks of being President of the United States, to honor those who have done so much good for the nation! 🙂