Tom Hanks is a national treasure, and will finally get the Presidential Medal of Freedom he deserves

Hanks will be joined by Ellen, Bruce Springsteen and Robert DeNiro in the plaudits for their work

By Brendan Gauthier
Published November 16, 2016 9:42PM (EST)
 (Screengrab via YouTube)
(Screengrab via YouTube)

Next Tuesday, Tom Hanks and 20 others will receive Presidential Medal of Freedom in a ceremony at the White House.

"The Presidential Medal of Freedom is the Nation’s highest civilian honor," reads the White House's press release, "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."

Hanks will be joined by fellow lovable Americans Ellen DeGeneres, Bruce Springsteen, Robert De Niro, Frank Gehry, Lorne Michaels and Robert Redford. Also being awarded the Medal of Freedom — that's not to say they're any less special — are: sports stars Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Michael Jordan, famed broadcaster Vin Scully, performers Cicely Tyson and Diana Ross, artist Maya Lin, Bill and Melinda Gates, architect Frank Gehry, computer scientist Margaret H. Hamilton, former FEC Chairman Newt Minow and Miami Dade College President Eduardo Padrón.

Per Hanks' write-up in the press release:

Tom Hanks is one of the Nation’s finest actors and filmmakers. He has been nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role five times, and received the award for his work in 'Philadelphia' and 'Forrest Gump.'  Those roles and countless others, including in 'Apollo 13,' 'Saving Private Ryan,' and 'Cast Away,' have left an indelible mark on American film. Off screen, as an advocate, Hanks has advocated for social and environmental justice, and for our veterans and their families.

Computer scientist Grace Hopper and Native American activist Elouise Cobell will be posthumously awarded Medals of Freedom.

But they didn't give us David S. Pumpkins.

Brendan Gauthier

Brendan Gauthier is a freelance writer.

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