The National Constitution Center announced Thursday that its annual Liberty Medal will be awarded to U.S. Sen. John McCain in Philadelphia.
McCain will be receiving the award for his lifetime of sacrifice and service in the military and government. The National Constitution Center’s Liberty Medal honors men and women annually with the award.
“It has been my greatest privilege in life to swear an oath to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States, beginning with my enlistment in the Navy and continuing through my service in the United States Senate," Sen. McCain said. "Each time I have raised my right hand, I do so with enormous weight of the people who elected me to serve. I’m grateful to the National Constitution Center for this recognition, and am humbled to join the ranks of so many past Liberty Medal recipients I greatly admire.”
Former Vice President Joe Biden, chairman of the National Constitution Center’s Board of Trustees, will award the Liberty Medal to McCain on Oct. 16 in Philadelphia.
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The general public can submit an online request for tickets to the ceremony from noon on Aug. 15 through 10 p.m. on Sept. 10. A random drawing will pick the winners.
McCain joined the Navy in 1958 and rose to the rank of captain during his 22 years of service. In 1967, his plane was shot down over Hanoi, Vietnam, and he spent years in a Vietnamese prisoner of war camp, where he endured torture. After his return, he joined politics and is now serving his sixth term as senator in Arizona. McCain, the GOP nominee for president in 2008, lost that election to Barack Obama.
“In our over two decades serving together in the United States Senate, there were few others I could count on to be as honest, respectful, and decent as John," Biden said. "His heroic sacrifice for his country and dedicated service to his constituents are unquestionable and unmatched. It will truly be an honor to award the Liberty Medal – my first as Chair of the National Constitution Center’s Board of Trustees – to my very good friend, John McCain.”
Other recipients include Hillary Clinton, Malala Yousafzai and the Dalai Lama of Tibet.