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Jimmy Carter: Presidential Medal of Freedom Remarks at the Presentation Ceremony.
Jimmy
Jimmy Carter
Presidential Medal of Freedom Remarks at the Presentation Ceremony.
January 16, 1981
Public Papers of the Presidents
Jimmy Carter<br>1980-81: Book III
Jimmy Carter
1980-81: Book III
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One of the wonderful experiences that is enjoyed by the men who've lived in this house and served here is to meet outstanding people from around the world, and particularly from his own Nation. It's not possible to recognize in any tangible way the literally tens of thousands, even more, Americans who serve unselfishly and who serve with distinction and who garner, because of their service, the legitimate debt and thanks of their fellow citizens.

A number of years ago President Harry Truman initiated the Presidential Medal of Freedom to single out a few distinguished Americans to represent that superb service. When a few are chosen, it's done without derogation of those not chosen. It's done as an exemplification of honor in a democracy among citizens who are all equal.

I've been quite reticent, compared to some of my predecessors, about the number who have been selected. The first ceremony that I had in 1977 I honored Martin Luther King, Jr., and Jonas Salk; later, Arthur Goldberg, Margaret Meade, Ansel Adams, Rachel Carson, Lucia Chase, Hubert Humphrey, Archbishop Lakovos, Lyndon Johnson, Clarence Mitchell, Jr., Roger Tory Peterson, Admiral Hyman Rickover, Beverly Sills, Robert Penn Warren, John Wayne, Eudora Welty, and Tennessee Williams.

As you listen to those names, one of the first questions that comes to mind is why weren't they honored long ago? And I feel that way about some of those who will be honored today. Four of our honorees can't be here, and I will explain to you why as their names are called. I would like now for the military aide to come forward to present the certificates to me, and I will read the citation and perhaps say a few extra words. As I do, those who are present please come forward. Those who have representatives, come forward in their place, and I will award the medals at that time. These are done not in order of seniority or age, but according to alphabetical listing of the last names.

First, "The President of the United States of America awards this Presidential Medal of Freedom to Harold Brown."

[At this point, the President read the citation, the text of which follows:]

THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA AWARDS THIS PRESIDENTIAL MEDAL OF FREEDOM TO HAROLD BROWN

From the government of science to the science of government, Harold Brown has served his country first and his principles always. As an advisor to Presidents, and a president of a community of scholars, he has helped bridge the gap between the world of theory and the world of reality. Adept at translating from the language of science to the language of statecraft, he excels in translating purpose into action.

Signed, Jimmy Carter, the White House, Washington, D.C., January 16, 1981.

I have worked and served with Harold Brown for 4 years. He's a man of strength and a man of peace. He's brought levelheaded judgment to one of the major departments of our country in times of testing, in times of potential war. But because of his sound judgment and the trust that others have in him, he has preserved our Nation as it should be, strong and peaceful.

It's with a great deal of honor that I present the Medal of Freedom to Harold Brown.

The next one: "The President of the United States of America awards this Presidential Medal of Freedom to Zbigniew Brzezinski."

[The President read the citation, the text of which follows:]

THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA AWARDS THIS PRESIDENTIAL MEDAL OF FREEDOM TO ZBIGNIEW BRZEZINSKI

Zbigniew Brzezinski served his country and the world. An author and architect of world affairs, his strategic vision of America's purpose fused principle with strength. His leadership has been instrumental in building peace and ending the estrangement of the Chinese and American people. But above all, he helped set our nation irrevocably on a course that honors America's abiding commitment to human rights.
Signed, Jimmy Carter, this date, the White House.

I doubt that anyone in my own administration has been more controversial than Dr. Brzezinski. And the reason for it is manifold, but I'd like to make two reasons. One is that he's evocative; he's a person who explores constantly better ways to do things. His Eastern European origins have given him an almost unmatched understanding of the interrelationships among the cultural entities of the Soviet Union and the satellite countries. He came here early in his life seeking freedom. He's a clear spokesman. I don't know of a single time in the last 4 years when he has ever made a public statement of any kind, privately or publicly which was not compatible with my own policies.

The other reason that he has been somewhat controversial is that he has never tried to take credit for a success, nor has he ever tried to blame me as President, or anyone else, for a failure. To me, this is a wonderful evidence of courage, because it's so easy for someone who works within the inner circles of the White House in particular and other places of leadership when something goes wrong, very quietly, very subtly to say, "I recommended one thing; the President or the Secretary of State or the Secretary of Defense did something else." Zbigniew Brzezinski has never done that. I'm deeply indebted to him, and I think that the Nation shares that debt with me.

It's with a great deal of pride and gratitude that I present the Medal of Freedom to Dr. Zbigniew Brzezinski.

I look around the room and people who know the alphabet and who work very closely with me are smiling with anticipation about the next award. "The President of the United States of America awards this Presidential Medal of Freedom to Warren Christopher."

I might say that Warren Christopher is in Algiers working as he has for the last 14 months for the freedom of the American hostages. He's listening to my voice through an open telephone line, and I'd like to read this citation.

[The President read the citation, the text of which follows:]

THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA AWARDS THIS PRESIDENTIAL MEDAL OF FREEDOM TO WARREN CHRISTOPHER

Warren Christopher has the tact of a true diplomat, the tactical skills of a great soldier, the analytical ability of a fine lawyer, and the selfless dedication of a citizen-statesman. His perseverance and loyalty, judgment and skill have won for his country new respect around the world and new regard for the State Department here at home.
Signed, Jimmy Carter, this date, White House.

Last week I was in Plains, and I was invited out to a small French restaurant between Plains and Americus by the press; it's one of the few French restaurants between Plains and Americus. [Laughter] And when I sat at the table eating supper, we had an informal off-the-record discussion, and the members of the press asked me, "Of all the public servants with whom you have served as President, who would you rank number one?" And I didn't hesitate a moment. I said, "Warren Christopher."

I think that those others who are being honored here today and all those that have worked with me would agree that he is indeed outstanding. I am indebted to him, and so is the Nation, far beyond what the general public knows.

And it's with a great deal of pleasure and pride and honor that I present this Medal of Freedom to his lovely wife for Warren Christopher, a distinguished American.

"The President of the United States of America awards this Presidential Medal of Freedom to Walter Cronkite." Congratulations to you.

[The President read the citation, the text of which follows:]

THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA AWARDS THIS PRESIDENTIAL MEDAL OF FREEDOM TO WALTER CRONKITE

For thousands of nights, the eyes and can of millions of Americans have been tuned in to the eyes and ears of Walter Cronkite. He has reported and commented on the events of the last two decades with a skill and insight which stands out in the news world, in a way which has made the news of the world stand out for all of us.

There is probably not a single American who doesn't know Walter Cronkite, and of those tens of millions who know him, I don't believe there are any who distrust him. When our Nation has had great achievements, his voice has explained the significance of it, whether we have achieved peace when it was doubtful or when a man has landed on the Moon. And when our Nation has been in trouble or made mistakes and there was a danger that our public might react adversely or even panic on occasion, the calm and reassuring demeanor and voice and the inner character of Walter Cronkite has been reassuring to us all. He's a man superb on his own, but who has exemplified in the finest way the profession which he represents.

And on behalf of all Americans, I extend my congratulations and my appreciation to a distinguished American, a public servant, Waiter Cronkite.

"The President of the United States of America awards this Presidential Medal of Freedom to Kirk Douglas."

[The President read the citation, the text of which follows:]

THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA AWARDS THIS PRESIDENTIAL MEDAL OF FREEDOM TO KIRK DOUGLAS

Acclaimed as a screen actor and director here at home, Kirk Douglas has often played a different role abroad. Acting as an ambassador of good will beyond our shores, he has travelled around the world for our State Department and the United States Information Agency. The son of Russian immigrants, he travels, too, for the opportunity to share with other peoples his love of film, and country.

I've know Kirk Douglas personally and appreciate his friendship. But more than that, I have known how dedicated he is to using his talent as an actor and a director and the esteem with which he's held by his own people in spreading the good news about this country and explaining our purposes, our ideals, our commitments, and our achievements, our hopes, and our dreams to people around the world. He's done this in a sacrificial way, almost invariably without fanfare and without claiming any personal credit or acclaim for himself.

And so, it's with a great deal of pleasure that I give him this recognition and admire his modesty and thank him for what he has meant and what he still means and will mean to the country which he loves.

"The President of the United States of America awards this Presidential Medal of Freedom to Margaret Craig McNamara."

[The President read the citation, the text of which follows:]

THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA AWARDS THIS PRESIDENTIAL MEDAL OF FREEDOM TO MARGARET CRAIG McNAMARA

Margaret Craig McNamara saw a need in our society, and filled it. By creating the Reading is fundamental program, which has provided youngsters all over this country with millions of books, she has opened new doors in the minds of our young people and has given fresh meaning to the lives of the parents, teachers and volunteers who have joined her program.

The other night, I think in this room, I spoke to a group of people who represented local and State government in an official capacity, and I reminded them that the things that occupy our mind and to which we are dedicated are the simple things of life—things like a mother, a baby, retarded children, love for the elderly, the quality of a classroom, gentleness, love, peace, the purity of air, quietness-those kinds of things are what we try to preserve and enhance. Margaret Craig McNamara has taken this kind of commitment very long ago, when she saw two young men, I believe; talked to them quietly, found that they had never owned a book, weren't interested in reading. And she had just a simple idea of getting books and not lending them to people but letting them own their own. Since then tens of millions of books have been collected through her leadership and given to young people. It has transformed their lives.

There are hundreds of centers now all over this Nation. And she has marshaled tens of thousands of people to help in this program. She's done it quietly, because she loves others. She's dedicated a major part of her life to this effort, a simple thing of through reading, stretching the minds and the hearts of young people who wouldn't otherwise know how great God's world is and wouldn't know much about their fellow human beings. She's the kind of person who is an inspiration to all Americans who love others.

And it's with a great deal of pride that I present this Medal of Freedom to Margaret Craig McNamara.

"The President of the United States of America awards this Presidential Medal of Freedom to Karl Menninger." Dr. Menninger, as you may have anticipated, is busy enhancing the mental treatment qualities of this Nation. He's on the west coast, and honored by this award, of course, he still asked that he be excused so he could continue his work uninterrupted. A not so valuable nephew, Dr. Roy Menninger— [laughter] —has volunteered to come forward to accept the award for his uncle. And I would like to read the award now.

[The President read the citation, the text of which follows:

THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA AWARDS THIS PRESIDENTIAL MEDAL OF FREEDOM TO KARL MENNINGER

Karl Menninger has taught us much about ourselves and our behavior. An acute observer and social critic, he has put into action what he has put onto paper. As an author and doctor, his works range from popular, written accounts of psychiatry to studies done in his own hospital, from creating homes for parentless children to reforming the penal system. With the wisdom of his years, he truly does represent the ideas of another generation—one of the future, rather than of the past.]

All of those in this room who have been interested in improving the quality of mental health of this Nation have heard the name Karl Menninger since many years ago. He has been a pioneer, but as the closing phrase of this citation reminds us, he has never looked backward. He has always looked forward. His entire family has made the Menninger Clinic what it stands for, a powerful factor for a better life for Americans, not just in its own neighborhood but throughout the world. And with his research and with his writing, with his lecturing, with his training of other doctors, psychiatrists, psychologists, and others, he has literally transformed the mental health care attitudes of our great Nation.

To Dr. Roy Menninger, I want to express my deep thanks for accepting this award on behalf of his uncle and express my thanks also to the entire Menninger family. It's with a great deal of pleasure that I present this award to Dr. Roy Menninger for Dr. Karl Menninger.

This is one of those, people would say, "Why wasn't it done long ago?" The President of the United States of America awards this Presidential Medal of Freedom to Edmund S. Muskie.

[The President read the citation, the text of which follows:]

THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA AWARDS THIS PRESIDENTIAL MEDAL OF FREEDOM TO EDMUND S. MUSKIE

As Senator and Secretary of State, candidate and citizen, Edmund S. Muskie has captured for himself a place in the public eye and the public's heart. Devoted to his nation and our ideals, he has performed heroically in a time of great challenge, with great fortitude in an era of change.

If Ed were going to rewrite this citation, he would certainly insert the word "Governor." I remember when we had the swearing-in ceremony in this room not too long ago, Ed pointed out that his love for the Governorship equaled my own, and I think those who have served in that position would agree that this is a wonderful opportunity for service before one comes to Washington to serve our whole Nation.

Ed Muskie has been a man whom I've admired ever since I've been aware of his public service and been interested myself in going into the political arena. He has performed all of his official functions admirably with a quiet sense of inner strength and demonstrated courage. He has never yielded to temptation to lower his own standards or the standards which make all public servants proud. He's a man who has transcended in all his service any particular delineation of a political party, but has stayed a loyal Democrat at the same time. He's a man admired by all and the admiration is richly deserved.

I'm particularly grateful to Ed Muskie, because he was willing to leave a sure seat in the Senate to come and serve in a very difficult position as Secretary of State in this time of transition or change. It's not an easy time. But he did it with conviction that this was the best place for him to give his tremendous talents for the further service of his fellow Americans.

He's a personal friend, as many of these honorees are, and personally and as President of our country, I'm delighted and proud to award the Medal of Freedom to Ed Muskie.

"The President of the United States of America awards this Presidential Medal of Freedom to Esther Peterson."

[The President read the citation, the text of which follows:]

THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA AWARDS THIS PRESIDENTIAL
MEDAL OF FREEDOM TO ESTHER PETERSON

Once government's highest ranking woman, Esther Peterson still ranks highest among consumer advocates. She has advised Presidents and the public, and has worked for labor and business alike, always keeping the rights of all Americans to know and to be treated fairly as her highest priority. Even her staunchest foes respect her integrity and are warmed by her grace and sincere concern.

You may be surprised that in the citation the word "foes" is mentioned in relation to this lovely American, but she has made some foes. [Laughter] And I would guess, knowing her, that she's prouder of the foes she has made— [laughter] —if possible, 'than even some of the friends she has. She has never been afraid to address difficult issues even at the expense on occasion of personal harmony with those about whom she cares. She serves others with her entire dedicated life.

She's come to the inner circles of the White House in a major position during these last few years to work with me to make sure that the average American is not cheated, that they are told the truth, that they are treated fairly, and that when they go into the marketplace they can have some inner sense of trust in the free enterprise system which she has served so well. She's a delightful person, a person with charm, a person who makes deep friendships and deep commitments. And her deepest commitment has been to those who don't know her and who will probably never see her or maybe not even hear her voice. She serves those who are most deprived and has done that with her whole life.

I love her personally, and I congratulate her on receiving this award, the Medal of Freedom of our country.

"The President of the United States of America awards this Presidential Medal of Freedom to Gerard C. Smith." Gerry Smith.

[The President read the citation, the text of which follows:]

THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA AWARDS THIS PRESIDENTIAL MEDAL OF FREEDOM TO GERARD C. SMITH

Gerard C. Smith has represented our country in many capacities—as the first U.S. Chairman of the Trilateral Commission, as chief U.S. delegate to the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks in 1969. In helping formulate our national security policy, in promoting a better understanding of foreign relations, he has helped us all to perceive that in this nuclear age security and peace are indivisible.

In my farewell address the other night, I emphasized one subject perhaps greater than any other, and that is the control of nuclear weapons throughout the world. One way to control nuclear weapons is to have an agreement, a binding agreement, between ourselves and the Soviet Union, the other superpower, to control and to limit and hopefully to reduce, ultimately to eliminate nuclear weapons altogether. The other way is to make sure that the world understands the threat of nuclear weaponry and the threat of a nuclear war and that we can impose a policy of nonproliferation, to prevent the spread of nuclear weaponry to other nations around the world.

Gerry Smith has been involved from the very beginning of our Nation's policy of nonproliferation. He's been a teacher of leaders in this country and around the world. He's put forward our own Nation's programs and policies with distinction and commitment and tenacity. He's a great negotiator, a very successful one, and he's responsible now for the SALT treaty which is binding upon and has been for many years binding upon our Nation and the Soviet Union. Our country is indebted to Gerry Smith. And as President, I'm personally indebted to him as well.

I want to say at this time that I congratulate him; I'm honored to present the Medal of Freedom to a fine American who has served us well, Gerard C. Smith.

"The President of the United States of America awards this Presidential Medal of Freedom to Robert S. Strauss."

[The President read the citation, the text of which follows:]

THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA AWARDS THIS PRESIDENTIAL MEDAL OF FREEDOM TO ROBERT S. STRAUSS

For Americans politics is the art of the possible. Through intelligence, ability, and the many friendships earned during his service as the leader of his party and his Nation, Robert S. Strauss has refined that art into a science. With diligence, persistence, and wit, he successfully concluded the multilateral trade negotiations at a time when many believed that they were doomed for failure. For strengthening the system of trade which links the nations of our increasingly interdependent world he has earned our gratitude and respect.

The first time I went to an international forum to meet with the leaders of other great Western nations—Japan, Canada, Italy, Great Britain, Germany, France—I asked them about the longstanding effort to conclude a multilateral trade agreement that would enhance the quality of life, the productivity, the exchange of goods, the enhancement of peace among all the nations of the Western world. Chancellor Schmidt, President Giscard d'Estaing, at that time Prime Minister Callaghan, all told me this was a fruitless wish, that the Multilateral Trade Negotiations were dead. I decided to ask Bob Strauss to give it a try. And he succeeded.

Not only did he succeed in bringing the multiple nations together in one of the most complex negotiating efforts that I have ever seen, but he came back and convinced the Members of Congress-Democrats, Republicans, House and Senate that the very complicated agreements that he had negotiated and which, I would guess, many of them never read, were in the best interest of our country, in the best interest of their constituents, and would do them credit on the next election day. And the Multilateral Trade Negotiation Act passed the Congress overwhelmingly. As a matter of fact, it passed so easily, that there were no violent altercations or major debates, and the event almost escaped the notice of the press, even CBS Evening News. [Laughter] But it was a notable achievement, and it was one that utilized the tremendous talents of this good man.

Later, Bob Strauss helped to negotiate peace between Israel and Egypt, pursuing the Camp David accords and the treaty that had been signed. And I think everyone who knows him would say that his understanding of the people of this country, his ability to get along with people of diverse views, and his ability to bring people together in an agreement that enhances the quality of life of all Americans is indeed outstanding. He's a man, as the citation says, of wit and competence and integrity.

And I'm very proud to present the Medal of Freedom to Robert Strauss.

This next one is of particular pleasure for me. "The President of the United States of America awards this Presidential Medal of Freedom to Elbert Tuttle."

[The President read the citation, the text of which follows:]

THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA AWARDS THIS PRESIDENTIAL MEDAL OF FREEDOM TO ELBERT TUTTLE

Elbert Tuttle is a true judicial hero. At a time when it was unpopular to do so, he carried out the mandate of Supreme Court decisions and Congressional legislation to end racial discrimination in the Deep South. With steadfast courage and a deep love and understanding of the region, he has helped to make the Constitutional principle of equal protection a reality of American life.

Those of us who have lived in the South during the time when racial discrimination was ended by the courts are perhaps the only ones here who can adequately appreciate the courage of a Federal judge like Elbert Tuttle. His decisions not only required the knowledge of the law and courage. They required a character and an earned degree of esteem from his fellow Georgians and his fellow southerners that would add additional weight to his decisions. When the people in my region would read that Judge Elbert Tuttle had ruled this way, we had a natural sense that even though some may not agree, it must be right.

I'm indebted to him personally. Both I and one of the honorees would probably never be here in the White House on this day had it not been for Elbert Tuttle and men like him. He's a man of brilliant mind. He can handle complex legal decisions easily, but he's a man of simple commitments and ideals. When he was interviewed at the time of his retirement from the Federal bench on national television, the interviewer said, "Judge Tuttle, I understand that you have never drunk alcoholic beverages," and Judge Tuttle said, "That's right." And the interviewer said, "Would you mind telling our television audience why?" And Judge Tuttle said, "Because my mother told me not to." [Laughter] I've thought about that a lot. [Laughter] And a lot of people in this Nation did what was right because Judge Tuttle said, "That's what we ought to do."

I'm honored to present to him the Medal of Freedom. Federal Judge Elbert Tuttle.

Even great men like Elbert Tuttle have leaders. "The President of the United States of America awards this Presidential Medal of Freedom to Earl Warren."

[The President read the citation, the text of which follows:]

THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA AWARDS THIS PRESIDENTIAL MEDAL OF FREEDOM TO EARL WARREN

Earl Warren led a unanimous court that in turn led the Nation in reversing a century of judicial and social history. By affirming that separate is not equal, he and his court reaffirmed the truth of the words carved in stone at the entrance to the Supreme Court: "Equal Justice For All." As governor, presidential candidate and Chief Justice, he has truly been a citizen for all seasons.

As I stood here this afternoon, I tried to think of any man who has served in the White House as President who has benefited our Nation as much or more than Earl Warren—and I can't think of anybody. There comes a time in the evolution of society when a certain quality of understanding and integrity and leadership is a prerequisite to further progress. When hopeless, perhaps, but courageous people are being frustrated, when the times call for change, but ordinary human beings can't bring themselves to make the change because they might be criticized by their peers or those whom they would like to please, and when the trend of history must be modified or even reversed, I thank God that Earl Warren was the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court in a time like that. And with his decision, he helped to realize the aspirations and ideals expressed in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of our Nation.

His predecessors had not adequately done it. He departed from some longstanding decisions that they had made. I say that without criticizing them. But it took a special man to make those difficult decisions that Judge Tuttle and others followed in the administration of justice and the enhancement of equality of opportunity under the law for all the people of our Nation.

Miss Nina has come here representing her late husband, and I'm honored especially to present the Medal of Freedom to the beloved wife of one of the finest Americans who ever served in any capacity in the Government of our Nation, former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Earl Warren.

I would like to say before I present the last medal here that Roger Baldwin, a great civil rights leader, is in the hospital in New Jersey. At 3 o'clock this afternoon, the same time as we began our ceremony here, he was presented with a Medal of Freedom by William Vanden Heuvel, Deputy Ambassador to the United Nations, on my behalf. 1
1
The text of the citation reads as follows:


THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA AWARDS THIS PRESIDENTIAL MEDAL OF FREEDOM TO ROGER NASH BALDWIN

Founder of the American Civil Liberties Union and the International League for Human Rights, Roger Nash Baldwin is a leader in the field of civil rights and a legend in the field of civil liberties. He is a national resource, and an international one as well, an inspiration to those of us who have fought for human rights, a saint to those for whom he has gained them.

Now the President of the United States awards this next Medal of Freedom to Andrew Young.

[The President read the citation, the text of which follows:]

THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA AWARDS THIS PRESIDENTIAL, MEDAL OF FREEDOM TO ANDREW YOUNG

Andrew Young brought to diplomatic service a lifetime of dedication to human rights. He helped restore trust in the United States among Third World nations, especially in Africa, demonstrating to them that American foreign policy was based on our firm belief in justice, freedom, majority rule, and opportunity for all people.

I first heard about Andrew Young when I read news reports that he was in jail along with Martin Luther King, Jr., and when I saw his photographs in the newspaper seeking, with danger to his own life, to prove that our Constitution and the rulings of Earl Warren and Judge Tuttle ought to be put into effect by human beings. He's a man of quiet demeanor, having served as a United States Congressman from my State.

When I was elected President, one of my major goals was to enhance human rights and to strengthen the ties of friendship and understanding and mutual respect between our Nation and the small, sometimes weak, new nations of the world, those whose people might be black or brown or yellow and who in the past had sometimes distrusted our country because there was a lack of understanding on our own leaders' part of them. I asked Andy Young to leave the Congress and to serve as our U.N. Ambassador. He did it reluctantly. But when he went to the United Nations he served our Nation superbly.

Sometimes I have to admit I was surprised by some of the statements that Andy made, and I don't agree with all of them and didn't then. But if you listen closely to what he says, in the context of his statement, you see the wisdom and the continued purpose of his life expressed not just locally or domestically, but internationally.

Throughout the Asian countries, the South American countries, the African countries, and many others, Andy Young is the brightest star in the American firmament. He's the man who represents integrity and understanding, humility, purpose, and who exemplifies the quiet teachings of his Saviour, whom he represents as a preacher of the gospel. He's carried on well along with Coretta and others the heritage of Martin Luther King, Jr., and I'm deeply grateful for what Andy has meant to me personally, to me as President, and to our Nation. His beneficial service will help our Nation in many years ahead, and he's done it always with humility and with a quiet sense of calm, because he was sure that what he did was right for others. I've never known a person more unselfish than Andrew Young. And the respect that he enjoys around the world is well-deserved.

I'm honored to present the Medal of Freedom to Ambassador, former Congressman, great American, Andrew Young.

Can I ask all of the recipients of the medal to come up on the platform perhaps now for a photograph, and then we'll adjourn the meeting.


Note: The President spoke at 3:05 p.m. in the East Room at the White House.
Citation: Jimmy Carter: "Presidential Medal of Freedom Remarks at the Presentation Ceremony. ," January 16, 1981. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project. http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=44540.
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