Former US President Bill Clinton
Former US President Bill Clinton was one of 16 Americans awarded the Medal of Freedom by Barack Obama on Wednesday, in a ceremony that paid tribute to John F. Kennedy, another Democrat who served in the White House
During the ceremony in the East Room of the White House, Obama thanked Clinton for his humanitarian work and his guidance and advice, noting that the former president "doesn't stop." "Our Presidential Medal of Freedom honorees embody ... the living legacy of the Kennedy family," said Obama. "That is the responsibility we all welcome, as Americans, for our lifetime on this planet." JFK established the tradition of the award for those who have made significant contributions to the country and to democracy. The event comes ahead of the 50th anniversary of the former president's assassination on Friday.
"John F. Kennedy stands for posterity as he did in life - young, and bold, and daring," he added. "And he stays with us in our imagination not because he left us too soon, but because he embodied the character of the people he led. Resilient, resolute. Fearless and fun-loving. Defiant in the face of impossible odds." The awards are not limited to political achievements, but extend to the worlds of arts and science as well.
Alongside Clinton, some of the most well-known Medal recipients on Wednesday were talk-show host Oprah Winfrey and feminist pioneer Gloria Steinem.