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The Ceremony That Got Us in the Genechtagazoink (video)

These past two weeks have been a time of celebration and joy for all of us at On Being. The President of the United States awarded Krista Tippett the 2013 National Humanities Medal “for thoughtfully delving into the mysteries of human existence.” The White House writes:

“On the air and in print, Ms. Tippett avoids easy answers, embracing complexity and inviting people of all faiths, no faith, and every background to join the conversation.”

On Monday, Krista was planted in the East Room of the White House receiving her medal from President Obama. Absolutely surreal. Family duties had me roaming around northern Minnesota at that time, so we stopped off at a Cenex station to watch the live video stream on my phone. At the moment when she bowed her head, my wife and I looked at each other and got a might bit weepy.
She joins an incredible list of past medal recipients, including Joan Didion, Wendell Berry, Steven Spielberg, Studs Terkel, Quincy Jones, and Bill Moyers, to name a few. As someone who has worked with Krista more than a decade on this adventure, I’m so pleased we can share this moment with you. It’s been an absolute honor and I couldn’t be more heartened to see her recognized for her talents… and tenacity.
Oh, and you really ought to watch the full ceremony aboe. Seeing legendary artists like Bill T. Jones and Julia Alvarez cross the same stage is an absolutely moving experience as an American, and as a fan of their work.

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