Verbatim press release from the office of the U.S. Rep. Bennie Thompson:
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congressman Bennie G. Thompson (MS-02) released the following statement regarding President Obama’s plans to posthumously award the Presidential Medal of Freedom to James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael Schwerner:
“Fifty years ago, the lives of James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael Schwerner were taken away from us at a far too early age,” said Thompson. “These three young men, and countless others, paid the ultimate sacrifice in an effort to help bring equality to the state of Mississippi. Bestowing the nation’s highest civilian honor to these three men is a fitting tribute for their contribution toward making this country a more perfect Union. I commend President Obama for honoring these men and look forward to carrying on the spirit of their effort.”
On May 29, 2014, Congressman Thompson and members of the Congressional Black Caucus wrote to President Obama requesting for the Presidential Medal of Freedom be bestowed posthumously to James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael Schwerner (letter attached).
Established by President John F. Kennedy, the Presidential Medal of Freedom is the highest civilian honor in the United States. The award has been awarded to over 500 recipients who have made meritorious contributions to the security or national interests of the United States, world peace, cultural or other significant public or private endeavors. The awards will be presented posthumously at the White House on November 24, 2014.