Chimes of (Presidential Medal of) Freedom
Dylan gets decorated by the White House
By percy thrillington May 29, 2012 3:52PM
There was a time when Bob Dylan was loath to accept honors for his work, his legacy, his legend, but those times they have a-changed. President Obama decorated the Poet Laureate of rock and roll with the Medal of Freedom today—and only one of them wore a tux.
Bob Dylan received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the country's highest civilian honor, at a ceremony at the White House this afternoon.
At the ceremony, President Obama said of Dylan, "There is not a bigger giant in the history of American music," adding that the "unique gravel-y power" of his voice helped redefine "not just what music sounded like, but the message it carried and how it made people feel."
When the White House announced that Dylan would be one of this year's recipients, they wrote in a statement that the rock & roll pioneer had "considerable influence on the civil rights movement of the 1960s and has had significant impact on American culture over the past five decades." In 2009, Dylan was awarded the National Medal of Arts.
The Medal of Freedom is awarded each year to individuals who have contributed to the security or national interest of the U.S., world peace or to "cultural and other significant endeavors," according to the White House. Among the other recipients President Obama honored today were former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, Israeli President Shimon Peres, author Toni Morrison, civil rights campaigner and National Farm Workers Association co-founder Dolores Huerta and astronaut John Glenn.
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