Richard Nixon photo

Remarks at the Presentation of the Young American Medals for Bravery and Service.

June 17, 1969

Mr. Solicitor General, Mr. Hoover, ladies and gentlemen:

We are here today to make some awards that have been presented by the President of the United States since the year 1950. The Young American Awards are unique among those that are presented by the President in that they go to young people, in this case to teenagers, selected from all over the United States.

If I were to use a term to describe the people who are receiving these awards, I think I could use the term "bravery" in its broadest sense. By "bravery" we often think of the personal bravery where an individual faces up to a challenge that involves himself, but "bravery" in the broadest sense is that that involves courage in serving some larger cause, serving someone else.

Each of those who receives an award today, as you will note, has shown bravery in this larger sense, in serving his community, serving his family, serving the Nation.

The Solicitor General will present each of the award winners. Mr. Hoover will hand the medal to them, and I will be here to make the presentation.

Mr. Solicitor General.

Note: The President spoke at 11:09 a.m. in the Roosevelt Room at the White House.

He presented gold medals for service to Gall Ann Budlow, 17, of West Allis, Wis., for her work with the aged and with retarded children; and to Janette Ann Litten, 20, of Alhambra, Calif., who headed various charitable drives for Alhambra High School including a Christmas drive for a Navajo Indian mission in Arizona and served as a companion to elderly patients at a sanatorium in Rosemead, Calif.

He presented gold medals for bravery to Ronald Clark Lee, 20, and his brother Randy, 19, of Stanley, Wis., who rescued their mother and two younger brothers from their burning house.

The winners were chosen from among 55 nominations submitted from 18 States, Guam, and the District of Columbia. Members of the Young American Medals Committee who judged the nominations were Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation J. Edgar Hoover, Solicitor General Erwin N. Griswold, and Clifton F. Sessions, former Director of Public Information, Department of Justice. The awards were for 1967 and make a total of 31 medals for bravery and 16 for service awarded since the establishment of the program under the Department of Justice by the Congress in 1950 (Public Law 638, 64 Stat. 397). The selections were made during 1968.

Remarks by Solicitor General Griswold on introducing the winners to the President are printed in the Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents (vol. 5, p. 875).

Richard Nixon, Remarks at the Presentation of the Young American Medals for Bravery and Service. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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