In a likely last ditch effort to expose the true diversity of what has made America great, President Obama held a ceremony for 21 influencers among us. The lucky 21 were a swatch of scientists, actors, athletes, architects and musicians amongst others. While Bill and Melinda Gates received their honor from the President, almost all of the actors and performers were in lock step with how America became so revered and respected up to this point in time. The inclusion of the following was not simply because of how ever-present each has become.
list of actors and writers seemed to be a who’s who from the supporting cast of the Democratic party. Tom Hanks, Robert De Niro, Robert Redford, Lorne Michaels and an emotional Ellen Degeneres were more than deserving. Despite party affiliation, the President recognized individuals who have pioneered and embodied the American spirit – a spirit that cares not for circumstance or race, color or background.
Athletes included Michael Jordan and Karem Abdul Jabar. Singers included Bruce Springsteen and Diana Ross. Architect Frank Gehry was on hand as well. Pioneers of science were not overlooked either. Next to Bill Gates sat Richard Garwin and one of the first female coders for the Apollo space program, Margaret Hamilton. For a full list of these distinguished civilian leaders, visit the medal of freedom site.