Biden to award Medal of Freedom to Giffords, McCain

Former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords
Former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords((Democratic National Convention via AP))
Published: Jul. 1, 2022 at 8:34 AM MST|Updated: Jul. 1, 2022 at 8:38 AM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - President Joe Biden will award former Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and late Sen. John McCain with Presidential Medals of Freedom.

Giffords and McCain, who died in 2018, are among 17 recipients of the nation’s highest civilian honor named by the White House on Friday, July 1.

Sen. John McCain
Sen. John McCain

Giffords’ husband, Sen. Mark Kelly, released the following statement:

“The leadership and legacy of my wife Gabby Giffords and the late Senator John McCain are unmatched. Gabby continues to inspire me and people around the country each and every day. She reminds me of what true grit and determination look like. And from the time when I was a young Navy pilot, I have admired Sen. McCain’s service in the military and later in the Senate. His endless commitment to our country means so much to me and to Arizonans. I can’t think of two Americans more deserving of our country’s highest civilian honor. I am grateful to President Biden for recognizing the service and legacy of two great American heroes.”

Giffords was the youngest woman ever elected to the Arizona State Senate, serving in the Arizona legislature and later in the U.S. Congress. A survivor of an assassination attempt, she co-founded Giffords, a nonprofit organization dedicated to gun violence prevention.

McCain was awarded a Purple Heart with one gold star for his service in the U.S. Navy in Vietnam. He also served the people of Arizona for decades in the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate and was the Republican nominee for president in 2008.

The awards will be presented at the White House on July 7.

Other recipients are:

  • Simone Biles
  • Sister Simone Campbell
  • Julieta García
  • Fred Gray
  • Steve Jobs (posthumous)
  • Father Alexander Karloutsos
  • Khizr Khan
  • Sandra Lindsay
  • Diane Nash
  • Megan Rapinoe
  • Alan Simpson
  • Richard Trumka (posthumous)
  • Wilma Vaught
  • Denzel Washington
  • Raúl Yzaguirre

Read about each Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient HERE.

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