Today President Obama’s awarded the Medal of Freedom to these five women:
Madeline Albright former Secretary of State and the first woman to hold the top U.S. diplomatic job. Granddaughter of Holocaust victims and who also survived the WW II Blitz.
Dolores Huerta, co-founder of the United Farm Workers of America. Daughter of a divorced parent, her community activism started when she was in Girl Scout’s. Huerta has 11 children. She became a teacher but resigned.
” I couldn’t stand seeing kids come to class hungry and needing shoes. I thought I could do more by organizing farm workers than by trying to teach their hungry children.”
Toni Morrison, author of such novels as “Song of Solomon” and “Beloved.” Her life began during the severe economic times of the Great Depression. She became an English professor and editor before she became an author with over 25 fiction, non-fiction, and children’s books, as well as a playwright. “Freeing yourself was one thing; claiming ownership of that freed self was another.”
Pat Summit, former basketball coach who led the University of Tennessee women’s basketball team to more NCAA Final Four appearances than any other team. She coached the U.S. women’s team to an Olympic gold medal, becoming the first U.S. Olympian to win a basketball medal and coach a medal-winning team. Now battling Alzeheimer’s, she has retired after 38 years. “There’s not going to be any pity party and I’ll make sure of that.
This year’s there are more women than ever before receiving the Medal of Freedom. This is the nation’s highest civilian honor. It is presented to individuals who have made especially meritorious contributions to the national interests of the United States, to world peace or to other significant endeavors.
It is not known how many women have received the award since it’s inception by President Harry S. Truman in 1945, but this year there are five female recipients out of 13 awardee’s. In a count, from available data the last nineteen years, only 42 women out of approximately 225 had received the award.
The stat’s are mentioned just to give you an understanding of these women’s significant achievements. We don’t need to wait for next year’s Women’s History Month to celebrate women. These awards are something to acknowledge, celebrate, and share with other women, especially daughters, nieces, granddaughters.
These women did not have an easy life, all had challenges, all of them found their purpose, and contributed to their community and society. And that has all the makings of strong women.