Oct 16, 2011

Vijaya Emani gets Presidential Citizens Medal

Kori Schulman writes on The White House Blog that in May, President Obama called on the public to help identify outstanding Americans for the 2011 Citizens Medal, the nation's second-highest civilian honor. Nearly 6,000 nominations were submitted and reviewed this year, and the President has selected 13 outstanding Americans to receive the award. "This year’s recipients of the Citizens Medal come from different backgrounds, but they share a commitment to a cause greater than themselves," said President Obama, "They exemplify the best of what it means to be an American, and I am honored to be able to offer them a small token of our appreciation."

Vijaya Emani became a role model for victims of domestic abuse because of her strength and determination in overcoming domestic abuse in her own life, and by speaking out about the issue publicly, she broke a long held taboo in the Indian American community. Emani lived and breathed many causes including projects to aid the homeless and promoting diversity. Although she was killed in a tragic vehicle accident, her example and message live on. Emani posthumously receives the Citizens Medal for her courage in overcoming and speaking out against abuse.

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