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White House Launches 2011 Citizens Medal Nomination Process

WASHINGTON, DC – In an email sent today, President Obama announced that the American public will once again be invited to nominate candidates for the Citizens Medal, the nation’s second highest civilian award.

For over 40 years, the Presidential Citizens Medal has recognized “citizens of the United States of America who have performed exemplary deeds of service for their country or their fellow citizens.” Past recipients have included some of America’s most respected public figures including Colin Powell, Bob Dole and Muhammad Ali, but also everyday heroes like 2010 recipient Susan Retik Ger, a widow who lost her husband on 9/11 and who found cause in educating and training Afghan widows and their children.

By asking the public to submit nominees, President Obama hopes to recognize exemplary citizens and local heroes who have significantly impacted their communities but who may not have garnered national attention.

“Now I know there are thousands of citizens out there who meet these criteria — I read their letters every night, and I meet many of them in my travels around the country” said President Obama. “I also know that many times their contributions go unrecognized. The 2011 Citizens Medal is a chance to recognize the everyday heroes in your community.”

Public nominations will be reviewed by White House staff. Additional nominees may be identified outside of the public nomination process. The President will select award recipients and award the 2011 Citizens Medal in a ceremony at the White House. Last year, the White House received more than 6,000 nominations and invited 13 outstanding Americans to the White House to receive the Medal and be recognized for their service.

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