2010 Recipients Of Presidential Medal Of Freedom: A Portrait Of America

February 15, 2011
Written by Janice S. Ellis... in
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This collage includes all 15 reciptients of the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

The 2010 recipients of the Presidential Medal of Freedom represent the great racial, ethnic, and cultural mix that make up America. As President Barack Obama presented a snapshot of each recipient’s extraordinary achievement, despite their own personal challenges and circumstance, of improving the lives of others, it was a seminal moment of what this great country is and can continue to be.

These recipients, in whatever circumstance they found themselves, took action, developed their skills and talents across a myriad of disciplines, and make the lives of others better. Make America better. Make the world better. They achieved great things irrespective of the privilege or oppressive conditions they were confronted with because of their race, ethnicity, or the environment in which they found themselves. They dug deep within themselves, confronted adversity, accepted help and refuge along the way; and above all, stayed the course to achieve and make a difference in the lives of others.

What this group of recipient represents is how we all share extraordinary human traits, irrespective of our race, religion or ethnic origin. When we just look at the faces, how can we continue to hang on to superficial images, stereotypes that lay claim to the false notions that there are intrinsic or irreconcilable differences among us? There is no inferiority or superiority here!

If we do not buy the results of the findings of the Human Genome Project, that all of us — the DNA of all human beings — are 99.99 percent the same, then just pause and look at the achievements of this small group of Americans, and lets open our minds. Watch today’s speech and ceremony where President Obama Honors the Medal of Freedom Recipients on MSNBC.

The recipients of today's award: 

  1. John H. Adams

  2. Maya Angelou

  3. Warren Buffett

  4. George Herbert Walker Bush

  5. Jasper Johns

  6. Gerda Weissmann Klein

  7. John Lewis

  8. Tom Little

  9. Yo Yo Ma

  10. Sylvia Mendez

  11. Stanley “Stan” Musial

  12. William “Bill” Russell

  13. Jean Kennedy Smith

  14. John Sweeney

  15. Angela Merkel

USARiseUp joins the chorus and congratulates this beautiful portrait of Americans and their life’s work, which is affirmation for us all.