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Photo by Eric Draper

Former Vice President Joe Biden will award former President George W. Bush and former First Lady Laura Bush with the 2018 Liberty Medal on Nov. 11. Biden, Penn's Benjamin Franklin Presidential Practice Professor, is presenting the award at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia on Veterans Day.

On its website, the National Constitution Center said it chose to honor the Bushes for their “commitment to veterans.” According to PhillyVoice, the Bushes are receiving the medal because of their work with the Military Service Initiative.

Biden currently serves as the chair of the Center’s Board of Trustees, and Penn President Amy Gutmann serves as the chair of the National Constitution Center’s Liberty Medal Committee. 

According to its website, the National Constitution Center grants the Liberty Medal to individuals “who have strived to secure the blessings of liberty to people around the globe.”

Gutmann and Biden presented the 2017 Liberty Medal to former Senator John McCain. During the ceremony, Gutmann commended McCain for his bipartisanship even in times of political divide, citing his friendship with Biden as an example. 

“[McCain] routinely forgoes what is expedient to pursue what is just and what is right,” Gutmann said. “We look to him as a moral voice, straight-talking and upright. Honestly imperfect, and all the braver for it. The life he has lived inspires us, no matter what our party affiliation.”

In 2006, the first Liberty Medal was given to George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton, as they made “bipartisan humanitarian efforts on behalf of victims of natural disasters in Southeast Asia and the Gulf Coast,” the National Constitution Center noted. 

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