President Bush II awards Doris Day America’s highest civilian honour

June 24, 2004 No Comments

Doris Day is “deeply grateful” after being honoured with a Presidential Medal of Freedom by the president of her homeland.

This award is awarded annually by the President and is one of the highest civilian honours in the United States of America recognising distinguished service in a range of fields including the arts, sports, business and science.

The award was established by President Truman in 1945 for deserving civilians who served in World War II. It was then reinstated in 1963 by President Kennedy and to date has only been bestowed on a select few (to date around just 400 people). Honourees are recommended to the president by a Distinguished Civilian Service Awards Board. Past recipients include former presidents, astronauts, entertainers, scientists, religious leaders and victims of the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks.

Doris Day learned of the award from her son, Terry Melcher. She is one of 12 people being honoured at a ceremony which takes place at the White House on the 23 June 2004. Ms. Day did not attend in person due to her fear of flying but President George W. Bush II did however phone to congratulate her in person. The two were said to have talked about their mutual love of animals and the President’s Scottish terrier Barney.

“….My first reaction was, “For what?”….I have never thought about awards, whatever I do…To come from Cincinnati, Ohio for God’s sake, then to go to Hollywood, and to get this kind of tribute from my country…I love this country so much…” – Doris Day

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