Nobel Peace Prize laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu at his office in Milnerton, Cape Town, after learning he is to be awarded the Medal of Freedom, the highest US civillian honour, by President Barack Obama at the White House. Tutu will be among 16 recipients to receive awards at a ceremony on August 12, 2009. Other recipients of the Metal of Freedom include physicist Stephen Hawking, micro-banking founder Mohammad Yunus, US Senator Edward Kennedy, actor Sydney Poitier and long-time US civil rights leader Joseph Lowery. More than 20 000 people have been awarded the Medal of Freedom.
Said Tutu: “I am overwhelmed, deeply honoured, humbled and I am something that I don’t often get to be, speechless. As always I am so aware that it’s really given to me representatively. I could not be who I have been without the millions of people who honoured me by agreeing for me to be their leader. I am standing out only because they are carrying me on their shoulders.”
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