John Kerry Receives Presidential Medal of Freedom

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John Kerry received a prestigious honor from the White House this week. 

President Joe Biden announced 19 Presidential Medal of Freedom recipients on Friday, May 3, including Kerry.

“Secretary John Kerry is a former Secretary of State, United States Senator, and the first Special Presidential Envoy for Climate,” the press release from the Biden White House said. “His bravery in combat during the Vietnam War earned him the Silver Star and Bronze Star, and history will remember his public service career that has spanned seven decades.”

Other notable recipients included:  former Vice President Al Gore; U.S. Representative Nancy Pelosi (D-California), the former Speaker of the House; former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg; multi-sport star athlete Jim Thorpe, the first American Indian to win an Olympic gold medal; longtime talk show host Phil Donahue; and former U.S. Senator Elizabeth Dole (R-North Carolina). 

“The Presidential Medal of Freedom is the Nation’s highest civilian honor, presented to individuals who have made exemplary contributions to the prosperity, values, or security of the United States, world peace, or other significant societal, public or private endeavors,” the press release said. “President Biden often says there is nothing beyond our capacity when we act together. These nineteen Americans built teams, coalitions, movements, organizations, and businesses that shaped America for the better. They are the pinnacle of leadership in their fields. They consistently demonstrated over their careers the power of community, hard work, and service.”

Kerry has a lengthy resume in politics. He served as lieutenant governor of Massachusetts from 1983 to 1985, before being elected U.S. senator. He then served as Secretary of State from 2013 to 2017. And in the Biden administration, he served as the U.S. Special Envoy for Climate from 2021 to March 6, 2024.

Kerry was also the Democratic Party’s presidential nominee in 2004, but he lost to Republican George W. Bush, an incumbent who enjoyed decent approval ratings at the time. 

During his tenure as Climate Envoy, Kerry supported providing the green energy sector with government incentives to reduce carbon emissions.

“What keeps exciting me and the reason I keep at it is:  we can do this. We can win this battle, actually,” Kerry said in 2022, as NewBostonPost previously reported. “But there has to be a massive change in behavior and a shift in the allocation of capital. I think the marketplace has a better chance of enticing that shift than does the government, absent perhaps one tool the government could put in place quickly. That would be the investment tax credits and the production tax credits.”

However, Kerry was also the subject of controversy because his wife owned a private jet that was regularly used while he held the Climate Envoy post.


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