NATION : Lucille Ball Gets Medal of Freedom

<i> From Times wire services</i>

President Bush awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor, to the late comedian Lucille Ball and to four former public leaders today.

The medal for meritorious contributions to the country was given posthumously to Ball and was presented personally to retired Gen. James H. Doolittle, former Treasury Secretary C. Douglas Dillon, former Ambassador George F. Kennan and former Sen. Margaret Chase Smith (R-Me.).