Posted by | Ray Cornelius

The Presidential Medal of Freedom was bestowed upon 16 individuals yesterday in our nation’s capitol.

The prestigious ceremony took place in the East Room of the White House and was presented to individuals who have made  “meritorious contributions to the security or national interests of the United States, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.” The award was established 50 years ago by President John F. Kennedy and is the nation’s highest civilian honor.

“These are the men and women who in their extraordinary lives remind us all of the beauty of the human spirit, the values that define us as Americans, the potential that lives inside of all of us,” President Obama said.

This year’s inductees include former President Bill Clinton, Arturo Sandoval, Gloria Steinem, Cordy Tindell “C.T.” Vivian, Ernie Banks, Ben Bradlee, Daniel Inouye (posthumous), Daniel Kahneman, Richard Lugar, Loretta Lynn, Mario Molina, Sally Ride (posthumous), Bayard Rustin (posthumous), Dean Smith, Patricia Wald, and  Oprah Winfrey.

Watch the ceremony below:

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