November 19, 2013
West Chester, PA — President and Mrs. Obama have invited West Chester Mayor Carolyn Comitta to the White House for the Presidential Medal of Freedom Ceremony and Reception that will recognize Bayard Rustin on November 20, 2013. The Presidential Medal of Freedom is the country’s highest civilian honor bestowed to individuals who have made “an especially meritorious contribution to the security or national interests of the United States, world peace, cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.”
Bayard Rustin (1912-1987) was a native of West Chester and dedicated his life to civil rights. He was known as the “Architect of the March on Washington” and was a major force in the national civil rights movement along with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
In a resolution adopted by the West Chester Borough Counicl in August, Mayor Comitta recognized Rustin’s life’s work “of peaceful and purposeful civic activism as an inspiration for each of us and for people everywhere.”
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