The Presidential Medal of Freedom is an award bestowed by the President of the United States and is—along with the comparable Congressional Gold Medal—the highest civilian award of the United States.
The Medal of Freedom was a decoration established by President Harry S. Truman to honor civilians whose actions aided in the war efforts of the United States and its allies.
In general, a civilian is "a person who is not a member of the military or of a police or firefighting force", as defined by Merriam Webster's Dictionary.
The United States of America, commonly referred to as the United States or America, is a country in the Americas.
President Obama Awards the Presidential Medal of Freedom by The White House
It recognizes those people 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".
President Obama Honors the 2014 Medal of Freedom Recipients by The White House
The award is not limited to U.S. citizens and, while it is a civilian award, it can also be awarded to military personnel and worn on the uniform.
The military, also called the armed forces, are forces authorized to use deadly force, and weapons, to support the interests of the state and some or all of its citizens.
It was established in 1963 by President John Kennedy, superseding the Medal of Freedom that was established by President Harry S. Truman in 1945 to honor civilian service during World War II.
World War II, also known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945, although related conflicts began earlier.