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Nancy Pelosi Honored with Presidential Medal of Freedom as ‘San Francisco’s Tireless Champion

Nancy Pelosi Honored with Presidential Medal of Freedom

Speaker Emerita Nancy Pelosi, a trailblazer who shattered glass ceilings as the first female Speaker of the House and championed pivotal legislation, was honored with the nation’s highest civilian honor on Friday.

President Joe Biden bestowed upon Pelosi and 18 other recipients the Presidential Medal of Freedom during a ceremony at the White House.

The prestigious award, reserved for individuals who have made extraordinary contributions to the nation’s security, peace, culture, or public service, has been presented to over 600 individuals since its inception in 1963. Biden himself is a recipient of the medal, having been honored during his tenure as vice president by then-President Barack Obama.

As Pelosi entered the illustrious East Room, the resounding applause nearly drowned out the announcement of the next recipient’s name, attesting to the widespread recognition of her accomplishments.

Pelosi Receives Nation’s Highest Civilian Award, Presidential Medal of Freedom

President Biden lauded Pelosi’s remarkable achievements, highlighting her pivotal role in passing important legislation and her courageous defense of democracy during the events of January 6, 2022, when her husband, Paul Pelosi, faced an attack by a far-right extremist in their San Francisco home.

Among the attendees to witness Pelosi’s commendation were her family members, including her husband, daughters, grandchildren, and her close friend, Representative Anna Eshoo of Palo Alto.

Acknowledged as “San Francisco’s tireless champion in Congress,” Pelosi expressed deep gratitude for the honor, emphasizing the importance of freedom—the core value underlying the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Pelosi’s journey in politics began when she was elected to the House in 1987, appointed by Rep. Sala Burton to succeed her in representing San Francisco. In a predominantly male-dominated chamber, Pelosi swiftly ascended the ranks, eventually becoming the first woman to lead a major party in 2003.

Her historic tenure as Speaker of the House, both in 2007 and upon her party’s recapture of the House in 2019, underscored her indelible impact on American politics. Renowned for her role in crafting landmark legislation such as the Affordable Care Act, Pelosi’s tenure has been characterized by her steadfast dedication to public service and her prowess as a prolific fundraiser for the Democratic Party.

In addition to Pelosi, Friday’s honorees included former Vice President Al Gore, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Olympic gold medalist Katie Ledecky, former astronaut Ellen Ochoa, United Farm Workers President Teresa Romero, Oscar-winning actress Michelle Yeoh, and Judy Shepard, mother of Matthew Shepard.

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