58-year-old talk-show host Ellen DeGeneres was almost NOT allowed into The White House but had an emotional moment as she received her Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Barack Obama, 55.
The Presidential Medal of FREEDOM is the highest honor that can be bestowed upon a US civilian and DeGeneres was one of 21 other stars who also received the medal – including the likes of Tom Hanks, Diana Ross, Robert De Niro, Bruce Springsteen, Robert Redford, Saturday Night Live creator Lorne Michaels, basketball players Michael Jordan and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Bill and Melinda Gates, and more.
The announcer says as DeGeneres is on-stage with Obama: “In a career spanning three decades, Ellen DeGeneres has lifted our spirits and brought joy to our lives as a stand-up comic, actor, and television star. In every role, she reminds us to be kind to one another and to treat people as each of us wants to be treated. At pivotal moments, her courage and candor helped change the minds and hearts of millions of Americans, accelerating our nation’s constant drive toward equality and acceptance for all. Again and again, Ellen DeGeneres has shown us that a single individual can make the world a more fun, more open, more loving place, so long as we ‘just keep swimming.’”