Today everyone's favorite person, Ellen DeGeneres, was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom–the highest honor for a U.S. civilian. While getting presented the award by President Obama, she got visibly emotional and made hearts everywhere explode.
She was among 21 honorees including Tom Hanks, Michael Jordan, Bill and Melinda Gates, and Diana Ross–the last group Obama will ever induct. The award is meant to signify individuals who prove that, in the president's words, "all of us, no matter where we come from, have the opportunity to change this country for the better."
The comedian started tearing up as soon as her name was called and the following introduction (with a Finding Nemo reference for good measure) was read:
"In a career spanning three decades, Ellen DeGeneres has lifted our spirits and brought joy to our lives as a stand-up comic, actor, and television star. In every role, she reminds us to be kind to one another, and to treat people as each of us wants to be treated. At a pivotal moment, her courage and candor helped change the hearts and minds of millions of Americans, accelerating our nation's constant drive for equality and acceptance for all. Again and again, Ellen DeGeneres has shown us that a single individual can make the world a more fun, more open, more loving place, so long as we just keep swimming.
And the tears kept coming.
Luckily, she got hugs from Robert De Niro and Obama.
Love you, Ellen.
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