John McCain, Gabrielle Giffords named 2022 recipients of Presidential Medal of Freedom 

Presidential Medal of Freedom

By Dan Nowicki |Arizona Republic

The late Sen. John McCain and former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords are among the 17 recipients of the 2022 Presidential Medal of Freedom.

President Joe Biden will posthumously award the 2022 Presidential Medal of Freedom to two Arizonans, the late Sen. John McCain, his friend and former colleague, and former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who suffered a near-fatal gunshot wound in a 2011 assassination attempt near Tucson.

McCain and Giffords are among the 17 recipients of the award, the nation’s highest civilian honor, announced Friday by the White House.

Biden and McCain, R-Ariz., served together in the Senate from 1987 until 2009, when Biden became vice president. Biden was President Barack Obama’s running mate in the 2008 election when McCain and his running mate Sarah Palin topped the national GOP ticket.

The White House announcement recognized McCain’s military service as well as his political service. McCain “was a public servant who was awarded a Purple Heart with one gold star for his service in the U.S. Navy in Vietnam,” the White House said. He also served 5½ years as a prisoner of war in North Vietnam. 

After McCain’s Aug. 25, 2018, death, Biden eulogized his friend at a memorial service at North Phoenix Baptist Church.

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