President Bush II awards Doris Day America’s highest civilian honour
June 24, 2004
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
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