Former United States President Jimmy Carter was honored with the Gerald R. Ford Medal for Distinguished Public Service on Monday.
The medal was presented to Carter, who was unable to attend the June 5 event was presented with the away in May at the Carter Center in Atlanta, Georgia. However, during the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation's annual reception and dinner on Monday, his acceptance speech was played via video presentation.
“As I reflect back on more than 25 different projects that Jerry and I collaborated and shared leadership, I can’t help but be grateful for the mutual respect and the intense personal friendship that developed during that time together,” said Carter through the video message.
“The words I spoke about my dear friend both at my inauguration and his funeral still ring true today. ‘For myself and for our nation I thank my predecessor for all he did to heal our land,’' Cater went on to say. "I am thrilled to receive the Gerald R. Ford Medal for Distinguished Public Service and I’m prouder still of the lasting friendship we still have with the Ford Family.”
Jimmy Carter was sworn in as the 39th president in 1977. During his time in office, he spearheaded foreign policy accomplishments such as the Panama Canal Treaties, the Camp David Accords, the peace treaty between Egypt, the SALT II treaty with the Soviet Union and established formal diplomatic relations with China.
Carter is credited with championing for human rights and his legacy left the United States with a comprehensive energy program and the creation of the Department of Energy.
Journalists Gregory Korte of USA Today; David Martin and Mary Walsh of CBS News; and David Cloud of the Los Angeles Times were each honored as recipients of the Gerald R. Ford Journalism Prize for Distinguished Reporting at the event as well.
Former President Gerald R. Ford's son, Steven Ford, spoke on Carter's receiving of the Ford medal, saying Carter showed the nation that politics could be handled with class, dignity and respect.
"My family and I are grateful for President Carter's public service and how he conducted himself throughout his life," Ford said. "We are proud to call the Carter family friends."
At the event, journalists Gregory Korte of USA Today; David Martin and Mary Walsh of CBS News; and David Cloud of the Los Angeles Times were each honored with the Gerald R. Ford Journalism Prize for Distinguished Reporting.