Leaders seek medal of freedom for Medgar Evers

Leaders seek medal of freedom for Medgar Evers

WASHINGTON, DC (WLOX) - Mississippi's congressional delegation are pushing for the president to honor slain civil rights leader Medgar Evers.

U.S. Senators Thad Cochran (R-Miss.), Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), and Representatives Bennie G. Thompson (D-Miss.), Gregg Harper (R-Miss.), Steven Palazzo (R-Miss.), and Trent Kelly (R-Miss.) issued the request in a letter to the President.

The men want to see President Barack Obama posthumously award Evers with the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Evers was assassinated in the driveway of his home more than 50 years ago, after fighting for freedoms for African-Americans.

All members of the delegation say Evers made moves for peace in America.

"Mr. Evers dedicated his life to the defense of civil rights in Mississippi and the United States. In recognition of his role in the Civil Rights Movement, he was posthumously awarded the NAACP Spingarn Medal for outstanding achievement in 1963 and is featured in the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture. His leadership, dedication and sacrifice continue to inspire many Americans and have enhanced freedom for all of humankind," stated the letter.

Evers would join many other Mississippians who have already been honored:

  • Civil rights activist James Earl Chaney (2014)
  • Representative G.V. (Sonny) Montgomery (2005)
  • Apollo 13 astronaut Fred Haise (1970)
  • Historian Dumas Malone (1983)
  • Musical artist Leontyne Price (1964)
  • Musical artist B.B. King (2006)
  • Writer Eudora Welty (1980)
  • Writer Tennessee Williams (1980)
  • Media mogul Oprah Winfrey (2013)

The Presidential Medal of Freedom is the highest civilian honor awarded in our country.  To see the full link to the letter to the President, click here.

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