Clinton Presents Highest Honor, Medal of Freedom, to 11 People
President Clinton presented the nation’s highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, on Monday to 11 men and women he said “have raised the practice of freedom to new heights.”
Two of the recipients were not at the ceremony. The president said Rosa Parks, whose refusal to give up her seat on a Montgomery, Ala., bus helped spark the civil rights movement, was delayed. Former Rep. Morris K. Udall, an Arizona congressman for 30 years, now suffers from Parkinson’s disease; he was represented by his son.
In addition to Parks and Udall, those honored are:
* Cardinal Joseph Bernardin of Chicago, 68, who announced last month that doctors expect him to die within a year from pancreatic cancer. He was the youngest Roman Catholic bishop in the nation when he was consecrated 30 years ago.
* James Brady, who had been on the job as Ronald Reagan’s press secretary for slightly longer than two months in 1981 when he was critically wounded in an attack on the president. Although he did not fully recover, Brady and his wife, Sarah, have been leaders in the fight for gun control.
* Millard Fuller, who founded Habitat for Humanity, which has built more than 50,000 homes for poor families.
* David Alan Hamburg, a psychiatrist and president of the Carnegie Foundation.
* John H. Johnson, who founded Ebony and Jet magazines, was honored for breaking negative stereotypes and building self-respect in the black community.
* Eugene M. Lang, who adopted a sixth-grade class and paid the tuition of anyone who went to college, created the I Have a Dream Foundation.
* Jan Nowak-Jezioranski, who risked his life as a member of the Polish underground during World War II.
* Antonia Pantoja, who has devoted her life to promoting community development.
* Ginetta Sagan, a member of the World War II Italian resistance, who has devoted her life to fighting human rights abuses around the world.