President Obama to award Medal of Freedom to Patsy Mink - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

President Obama to award Medal of Freedom to Patsy Mink

Patsy Takemoto Mink Patsy Takemoto Mink
Patsy Mink with Sen. Mazie Hirono Patsy Mink with Sen. Mazie Hirono
WASHINGTON D.C. (HawaiiNewsNow) - President Barack Obama on Monday named Patsy Mink as one of nineteen recipients of the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

The Presidential Medal of Freedom is the Nation's highest civilian honor, presented to individuals who have made especially meritorious contributions to the security or national interests of the United States, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.

Patsy Takemoto Mink was a Congresswoman from Hawaii, serving a total of 12 terms. She was born and raised on Maui, became the first Japanese American female attorney in Hawaii, and served in the Hawai'i territorial and state legislatures beginning in 1956. In 1964, she became the first woman of color elected to Congress. She is best known for co-authoring and championing Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. 

On September 28, 2002, after a month–long hospitalization with pneumonia, Patsy Mink died in Honolulu.

“Congresswoman Mink is deeply deserving of the Presidential Media of Freedom, having demonstrated her selfless commitment to the betterment of our nation and increasing opportunities for all Americans. It is appropriate that this high honor will be given to one of Hawaii's great leaders and a true American trailblazer,” said Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard.

“All of Hawai‘i is deeply proud that Patsy Mink has been named to posthumously receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom. As a daughter of the islands, she fought every day of her life to make real the possibilities of equal opportunity for all and the rights of minorities and women. Her remarkable achievements were hard earned – born of her unwavering resolve and the values she learned living in Hawai‘i. We know that Patsy would share this award with all of us and especially with the countless women who steadfastly carried on with the legacy and the spirit of Patsy Mink. This recognition for my friend, Patsy Mink, is well deserved and I am proud to have lent my early support to this effort. A visionary and a trailblazer, Patsy's legacy lives on in every female student and athlete in America who's been given a fair shot to compete in the classroom and on the playing field,” said Senator Mazie Hirono.  

“All of Hawai‘i is deeply proud that Patsy Mink has been named to posthumously receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom. As a daughter of the islands, she fought every day of her life to make real the possibilities of equal opportunity for all and the rights of minorities and women. Her remarkable achievements were hard earned – born of her unwavering resolve and the values she learned living in Hawai‘i. We know that Patsy would share this award with all of us and especially with the countless women who steadfastly carried on with the legacy and the spirit of Patsy Mink," said Senator Brian Schatz.

“I look forward to presenting these nineteen bold, inspiring Americans with our Nation's highest civilian honor." President Obama said. "From activists who fought for change to artists who explored the furthest reaches of our imagination; from scientists who kept America on the cutting edge to public servants who help write new chapters in our American story, these citizens have made extraordinary contributions to our country and the world.”

Tom Brokaw, Stevie Wonder, and actress Meryl Streep are among the other recipients of the award in 2014.

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