Edward Kennedy Gets Presidential Medal of Freedom

President Barack Obama will recognize the accomplishments of actors, activists and athletes on Wednesday when he awards the Presidential Medal of Freedom to 16 people, The Associated Press reports.

Among the 16 people who will receive the presidential Medal of Freedom at a White House ceremony is a Democratic lawmaker whose political significance has been made all the more conspicuous this year by his absence.

Sen. Edward Kennedy, battling brain cancer and now mourning his sister, Eunice Kennedy Shriver, who died Tuesday, will not be on hand to receive the nation's highest civilian honor from President Obama, The USA Today reports.

Meanwhile, his office said that his daughter, Kara, will officially accept the honor, the nation’s highest award given to a civilian, from President Obama. Kennedy’s sons, Ted Kennedy Jr., and Representative Patrick Kennedy of Rhode Island, will also be at the event, along with Ted Kennedy Jr.’s wife, Kiki, and Caroline and Curran Raclin, the children of Kennedy’s wife, Vicki Reggie Kennedy, The Boston Globe reports.

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