Ellen DeGeneres has dedicated her career to bringing joy and laughter to the people of the world. She is the type of celebrity who would give the shirt right off her back if she came across someone who needed it more. Last night, she was presented with the highest honor a civilian can get, and it was as emotional as it was beautiful.
DeGeneres was one of 21 recipients presented with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, an award given to individuals who have been part of notable change in the United States.
President Obama stood by her side as a White House aide summarized DeGeneres' career. The aide noted her courage and bravery for coming out during a time when marriage equality was not what it is today. Her bravery aided the progress of LGBT equality.
“It’s easy to forget now when we’ve come so far," said President Obama. "Where now marriage is equal under the law, just how much courage was required for Ellen to come out on the most public of stages almost 20 years ago. Just how important it was. Not just to the LGBT community, but for all of us.”
The President continued, “Ellen counters what too often divides us, with the countless things that bind us together, inspires us to be better, one joke, one dance at a time.”
Watch the emotional ceremony HERE and SHARE if you were touched by the award!