17 honored with the Medal of Freedom

President Joe Biden on Thursday awarded the presidential Medal of Freedom to 17 Americans, including Olympic gymnast Simone Biles, former congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, soccer star Megan Rapinoe and Gold Star father Khizr Khan. These are the first people Biden has awarded the nation’s highest civilian honor since taking office. Vice President Kamala Harris and second gentleman Doug Emhoff attended the ceremony at the White House as well.

The medal is “presented to individuals who have made exemplary contributions to the prosperity, values, or security of the United States, world peace, or other significant societal, public or private endeavors,” the White House said.