Obama to honor JFK legacy before 50th anniversary of assassination

November 20, 2013 / Written By Fox News

With the distribution of medals to prominent Americans and a visit to the eternal flame that marks John F. Kennedy's gravesite, President Obama is honoring the slain president's legacy two days before the nation pauses to remember the 50th anniversary of his assassination.
 
Wednesday's day of tributes starts at the White House, where Obama is to present the Presidential Medal of Freedom to more than a dozen prominent Americans in fields ranging from politics and entertainment to sports and science. Former President Bill Clinton, Oprah Winfrey and the late astronaut Sally Ride are among this year's recipients.
 
Kennedy established the modern version of the medal, the highest award the U.S. gives a civilian, but he didn't live to make that first presentation. He was fatally shot by Lee Harvey Oswald in Dallas on Nov. 22, 1963, two weeks before he planned to honor the inaugural group of recipients. Hundreds since have received the medal.
 
Afterward, Obama and first lady Michelle Obama are to be joined by Clinton and his wife, Hillary, for a wreath-laying ceremony at Kennedy's grave at Arlington National Cemetery. As a teenager, Bill Clinton shook hands with Kennedy the summer before the assassination when he and other high school students in the Boys Nation program went to Washington.
 
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