U.S. SENATOR JOHN MCCAIN TO BE AWARDED WITH THE NATIONAL CONSTITUTION CENTER’S 2017 LIBERTY MEDAL FOR HIS CAREER OF SERVICE TO OUR NATION

Vice President Joe Biden will award the Liberty Medal at a ceremony on Oct. 16 in Philadelphia 

Philadelphia, PA (July 6, 2017) – Today, the National Constitution Center announced it will award its annual Liberty Medal to U.S. Senator John McCain for his lifetime of sacrifice and service. Vice President Joe Biden, Chair of the National Constitution Center’s Board of Trustees, will bestow the award to his longtime friend during the 29th Annual Liberty Medal Ceremony on October 16 at 7 p.m. in Philadelphia.

The National Constitution Center’s Liberty Medal annually honors men and women of courage and conviction who strive to secure the blessings of liberty to people around the globe. Recent recipients include U.S. Representative John Lewis, His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet, Malala Yousafzai, and Hillary Clinton.

“I’m honored to receive this year’s Liberty Medal from my dear friend and a great American leader, Joe Biden,” said Senator McCain. “It has been my greatest privilege in life to swear an oath to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States, beginning with my enlistment in the Navy and continuing through my service in the United States Senate. Each time I have raised my right hand, I do so with enormous weight of the people who elected me to serve. I’m grateful to the National Constitution Center for this recognition, and am humbled to join the ranks of so many past Liberty Medal recipients I greatly admire.”

“John epitomizes statesmanship,” said Vice President Biden, Chair of the National Constitution Center’s Board of Trustees. “In our over two decades serving together in the United States Senate, there were few others I could count on to be as honest, respectful, and decent as John. His heroic sacrifice for his country and dedicated service to his constituents are unquestionable and unmatched. It will truly be an honor to award the Liberty Medal – my first as Chair of the National Constitution Center’s Board of Trustees – to my very good friend, John McCain.” 

“The longtime friendship and collaboration between Vice President Biden and Senator McCain exemplifies the nonpartisan spirit of the National Constitution Center,” said Jeffrey Rosen, President and CEO of the National Constitution Center. “In these polarized times, it’s more important than ever to unite public servants of different perspectives.”

From a family of military heroes, McCain began his service in the Navy in 1958 after graduating from the U.S. Naval Academy. During his 22 years of service, McCain rose to the rank of Captain. He served as a Navy pilot in the Caribbean during the Cuban Missile Crisis and later conducted targeted air strikes in North Vietnam. On October 26, 1967, McCain’s plane was shot down over Hanoi during a bombing mission. He was captured and spent years in a Vietnamese prisoner of war camp being tortured by his captors. Despite the torture he endured, McCain refused the opportunity for early release until all of his fellow soldiers were released. For his heroism, Senator McCain has received 17 military awards and decorations, including the Silver Star, the Navy Commendation Medal, and the Bronze Star.

In 1982, McCain was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, serving two terms. In 1986, he was elected to the U.S. Senate. He has served in the Senate ever since, winning reelection five times. He also ran for president in 2000 and 2008.

National Constitution Center Trustee, Ira Lubert of Lubert Adler, will sponsor the Liberty Medal Prize in 2017, as he has for the past ten years. Citizens Bank, which has sponsored the Liberty Medal since 2006, returns as the Chairman’s Reception Sponsor. Stradley Ronon, LLP will also return as the President’s Reception Sponsor for the fifth consecutive year.

Sponsorships and individual tickets to the Liberty Medal Ceremony and Gala Reception are currently available for purchase. For more information, please contact Kate Maloney-Gross at (215) 409-6664 or kmaloney-gross@constitutioncenter.org , or visit constitutioncenter.org/libertymedal/support . In addition, a limited number of complimentary ceremony tickets will be made available to current Members of the National Constitution Center on September 13, 2017. To become a Member of the National Constitution Center, please visit constitutioncenter.org/membership

A limited number of complimentary ceremony tickets will also be made available to the general public on September 14, 2017. For more information, please visit constitutioncenter.org/libertymedal . The event will also be broadcast on local ABC affiliate, WPVI-TV/6abc.   

PLEASE NOTE: Credentials are required for press entry to this event. To complete an application, visit constitutioncenter.org/libertymedal/media.html .

About the Liberty Medal

The Liberty Medal was established in 1988 to commemorate the bicentennial of the U.S. Constitution. Given annually, the medal honors men and women of courage and conviction who strive to secure the blessings of liberty to people around the globe. Seven recipients of the medal subsequently have won the Nobel Peace Prize.

About the National Constitution Center

The National Constitution Center in Philadelphia inspires citizenship as the only place where people across America and around the world can come together to learn about, debate, and celebrate the greatest vision of human freedom in history, the U.S. Constitution. A private, nonprofit organization, the Center serves as America’s leading platform for constitutional education and debate, fulfilling its Congressional charter “to disseminate information about the U.S. Constitution on a nonpartisan basis.” As the Museum of We the People , the Center brings the Constitution to life for visitors of all ages through interactive programs and exhibits. As America’s Town Hall , the Center brings the leading conservative and liberal thought leaders together to debate the Constitution on all media platforms. As a center for Civic Education , the Center delivers the best educational programs and online resources that inspire, excite, and engage citizens about the U.S. Constitution. For more information, call 215-409-6700 or visit constitutioncenter.org.

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EDITOR’S NOTE: A complete list of Liberty Medal winners follows.

Past Recipients of the Liberty Medal

                                                               

2016 2015 2014 2013 U.S. Representative John Lewis His Holiness the Dalai Lama Malala Yousafzai* Hillary Clinton, former U.S. Secretary of State
2012   Muhammad Ali
2011 2010   Robert M. Gates, former U.S. Secretary of Defense   Tony Blair, former British Prime Minister
2009   Steven Spielberg
2008   Mikhail Gorbachev, former Soviet Leader
2007   Bono and DATA
2006 George H.W. Bush and William J. Clinton, former U.S. Presidents
2005 Viktor Yushchenko, President of Ukraine
2004 Hamid Karzai, President of Afghanistan
2003 Sandra Day O’Connor, U.S. Supreme Court Justice
2002 Colin Powell, U.S. Secretary of State
2001 Kofi Annan, United Nations Secretary-General*
2000 James Watson and Francis Crick, Co-Discoverers of the Structure of DNA
1999 Kim Dae-jung, President of South Korea*
1998 George J. Mitchell, former U.S. Senator and Irish peace negotiator
1997 CNN International
1996 King Hussein I of Jordan and former Prime Minister of Israel Shimon Peres
1995 Sadako Ogata, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
1994 Václav Havel, President of the Czech Republic
1993 F.W. de Klerk, President of South Africa* and Nelson Mandela, President of the African National Congress*
1992 Thurgood Marshall, U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice  
1991 Oscar Arias Sanchez, former President of Costa Rica and Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders)*
1990 Jimmy Carter, former U.S. President*
1989 Lech Walesa, Co-Founder of Solidarity, Poland

* Subsequent Nobel Peace Prize Recipients

Merissa V. Blum

Communications Manager

National Constitution Center
T: 215-409-6645 

mblum@constitutioncenter.org

About the National Constitution Center

The National Constitution Center in Philadelphia inspires citizenship as the only place where people across America and around the world can come together to learn about, debate, and celebrate the greatest vision of human freedom in history, the U.S. Constitution. A private, nonprofit organization, the Center serves as America’s leading platform for constitutional education and debate, fulfilling its Congressional charter “to disseminate information about the U.S. Constitution on a nonpartisan basis.” As the Museum of We the People , the Center brings the Constitution to life for visitors of all ages through interactive programs and exhibits. As America’s Town Hall , the Center brings the leading conservative and liberal thought leaders together to debate the Constitution on all media platforms. As a center for Civic Education , the Center delivers the best educational programs and online resources that inspire, excite, and engage citizens about the U.S. Constitution. For more information, call 215-409-6700 or visit constitutioncenter.org. 

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