Monday, May 16, 2011

Nominate a Citizen Hero - From the White House

Dear Friends,

Last year the President honored 13 outstanding Americans with the nation’s second-highest civilian honor, the Presidential Citizens Medal. The individuals who received this award were Americans who set out to improve their country and their communities through extraordinary service outside of their day to day jobs. In 2010, President Obama asked Americans to participate in the nomination process and this year we are proud to ask for your help once again.

For the 2011 Presidential Citizens Medal we are asking you to look into your communities and nominate those everyday heroes who have performed exemplary deeds of service, including those who have demonstrated commitment to service in their own communities or in communities farther from home, who have helped their country or their fellow citizens through one or more extraordinary acts, whose service relates to a long-term problem, or whose service has had a sustained impact on others’ lives and provided inspiration for others to serve. Last year over 6,000 incredible leaders were nominated for their service, which often times goes unrecognized. The Presidential Citizens Medal offers a chance to thank those extraordinary stewards of service from across the United States.

For more information on the Citizens Medal as well how nominate an outstanding citizen, please read this letter from the President below and visit to watch the announcement video.

To nominate someone for the 2011 Citizens Medal, please review the criteria for this year’s medal Additional awardees may be selected outside of the public nomination process. In order for the individual to be considered for the Medal:

* Nominees must be citizens of the United States
* The nominee’s service must have been performed outside of his or her regular job.
* Nominations must be received by Monday, May 30, 2011 at 11:59 p.m. EST.

All the best and happy nominating,

The White House Office of Public Engagement


The White House, Washington

Good morning,

Last year I asked the public to help identify outstanding Americans I should consider for the Citizens Medal, the nation's second-highest civilian honor. After receiving more than 6,000 nominations, I invited 13 outstanding Americans to the White House to receive the medal and be recognized for their service.

It's time to do it again.

Like last year, we're looking for Americans who have performed exemplary deeds of service outside of their regular jobs and provided inspiration for others to serve. You can view the full criteria and get started on a nomination here:

Now I know there are thousands of citizens out there who meet these criteria -- I read their letters every night, and I meet many of them in my travels around the country. I also know that many times their contributions go unrecognized. The 2011 Citizens Medal is a chance to recognize the everyday heroes in your community.

Here are a few examples of Citizens Medal recipients from last year.

Betty Kwan Chinn was homeless as a child in China and became mute. When she came to America, Betty found her voice and her calling. Today, she provides meals to the homeless in her community twice a day as expressions of gratitude to a welcoming nation.

Susan Retik Ger is a widow who lost her husband on 9/11 who found cause in educating and training Afghan widows and their children.

George Weiss, Jr. is veteran of World War II who founded the Fort Snelling Memorial Rifle Squad, a group of over 125 volunteers who have performed final military honors at over 55,000 veterans' funerals.

Their stories are powerful reminders of the impact an individual can have on his or her community and on the world. You can watch them tell their stories in a video gallery on

If you know someone like Betty, Susan or George, please take a moment to nominate them for the 2011 Citizens Medal before May 30.


President Barack Obama

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