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The Mass Media

Former President Obama to be Recipient of “Profile In Courage” Award

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Former President Barack Obama

On March 2, the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation announced that our former president, Barak H. Obama, will be the recipient of this year’s Profile In Courage Award. The Profile In Courage Award has been awarded each year since 1990 to one or more public officials at any level “whose actions demonstrate the qualities of politically courageous leadership.”

On their official website, the JFK Library explained the reasoning behind this decision. From his inspirational 2008 campaign and up until his final weeks in office, Obama consistently reflected in many ways, big and small, the very definition of courage that John F. Kennedy cited in his book, “Profiles in Courage.”

In this book, which went on a receive a Pulitzer Prize, Kennedy detailed the efforts of eight US senators who put their political careers at risk when backing unpopular but moral stances. As he states in the opening lines, these leaders had “grace under pressure.”

Obama responded swiftly to this honor on social media, expressing his gratitude and saying that he is “humbled to be recognized by a family with a legacy of service.”

In the official statement, the JFK Library Foundation also drew comparisons between presidents Kennedy and Obama, saying that the latter has “picked up the torch” from Kennedy by upholding the same American values.

“President Obama’s entire public life has exemplified the courage that John F. Kennedy celebrated,” the statement reads.

Furthermore, the statement continues, “Throughout his two terms in office, President Obama upheld the highest standards of dignity, decency and integrity, serving not just as a political leader, but a moral leader, offering hope and healing to the country and providing young men and women of all backgrounds with an example they can emulate in their own lives.”

Additionally, the statement claimed that Obama was “inspiring young people across the country to enter public service, affirming our belief in an America that is more than just a collection of Red states and Blue states, and reminding all us that not matter what we look like where we come from, or what faith we practice, we are our brother’s and sister’s keeper.”

Obama will be honored with this award in a ceremony that will be held in May. The Profile In Courage Award ceremony has been held in May since its beginning. Coincidentally, May is the birth month of Kennedy. Kennedy’s daughter Caroline Bouvier Kennedy, and her son Jack Schlossberg, will present during this award ceremony for the former president at the JFK Library, which is located right next to the University of Massachusetts Boston campus.

The award comes in the form of a sterling silver lantern, which is modeled after the lantern on the oldest commissioned ship in the US Navy, the USS Constitution. Edwin Schlossberg, the husband of Caroline Kennedy, designed this award, and described it as “a timeless symbol of humanity and a very special tribute to the man who inspires the award.”

Previous recipients of this award include former president George H.W. Bush, U.N. General Secretary Kofi Annan, former president Gerald Ford, Senator John McCain, the Public Servants of September 11, and Ukrainian opposition leader Viktor Yushchenko.
For anyone interested, it is currently still possible to write a message for former president Obama. All of the submitted messages will be put together in a card which will be handed to him along with the award.
To sign the card, go to profileincourageaward.org/obama/.