President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama will honor the 15 recipients of the 2010 Presidential Medal of Freedom at the White House today.
The award, the country’s highest civilian honor, is presented to individuals who have made significant contributions to U.S. security or national interests, world peace, or other notable endeavors. Here's a look at some of this year's recipients.
Recipients' biographies, released by the White House, are given below.
President George H. W. Bush
George Herbert Walker Bush was the 41st president of the United States. President Bush and President Clinton worked together to encourage aid for victims of Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and the Indian Ocean tsunami in 2004.
Obama said of Bush: "From a decorated Navy pilot who nearly gave his life in World War II to U.S. ambassador to the United Nations; from CIA director to U.S. envoy to China to the vice presidency -- his life is a testament that public service is a noble calling.
"As President, he expanded America’s promise to new immigrants and people with disabilities. He reduced nuclear weapons. He built a broad international coalition to expel a dictator from Kuwait. When democratic revolutions swept across Eastern Europe, it was the steady diplomatic hand of President Bush that made possible an achievement once thought impossible -- ending the Cold War without firing a shot."