George W. Bush awards Bill Cosby the Presidential Medal of Freedom

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George W Bush awards Bill Cosby the Presidential Medal of Freedom
External videos
Medal of Freedom Award Ceremony
(July 9, 2002) C-SPAN

George W. Bush awards Bill Cosby the Presidential Medal of Freedom

President George W. Bush


July 9, 2002

For Immediate Release

Office of the Press Secretary

July 9, 2002

President Honors Recipients of the Presidential Medal of Freedom

Remarks by the President at Presentation of Presidential Medal of Freedom

The East Room

3:05 P.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT: Please be seated. Thank you all very much. Good afternoon, and welcome to the White House. Laura and I are honored to welcome our recipients and family members and friends to the people's house.

As we honor today's Presidential Medal of Freedom winners, I want to acknowledge the presence of our great Secretary of State Colin Powell, and his wife Alma. (Applause.) Secretary Powell has won the Presidential Medal of Freedom twice -- once with distinction. I'm not sure what happened the other time. (Laughter.)

The Presidential Medal of Freedom is the highest civil honor our nation can bestow. And we award it today to 12 outstanding individuals. The men and women we honor span the spectrum of achievement. Some are fighters; others are healers; all have left an enduring legacy of hope and courage and achievement.


Bill Cosby is a gifted comedian who has used the power of laughter to heal wounds and to build bridges. "I don't think you can bring the races together by joking about the differences between them," he said. "I'd rather talk about the similarities, about what's universal in their experiences." By focusing on our common humanity, Bill Cosby is helping to create a truly united America.

This work is in the public domain in the United States because it is a work of the United States federal government (see 17 U.S.C. 105).