A radio personality who is suffering from a deadly disease could not believe his ears when he heard the president announce he was being awarded the highest civilian honor on Feb. 4.
Rush Limbaugh, 69, could not hold back his tears when President Donald Trump confirmed he would be the recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom for making an “exceptional contribution” to the nation.
“In recognition of all that you have done for our nation, the millions of people a day that you speak to and that you inspire and all of the incredible work that you have done for charity, I am proud to announce tonight that you will be receiving our country’s highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom,” the president said in his State of Union address according to a video uploaded by the Western Journal.
First lady Melania Trump presented Limbaugh with the medal and the celebrity could be seen repeatedly wiping tears from his face, covering his mouth in surprise, and showing his approval with a thumbs up gesture.
The “Rush Limbaugh Show” host had announced his battle with cancer during his nationally syndicated talk radio show on Feb. 3.
“This day has been one of the most difficult days in recent memory for me because I have known this moment was coming in the program today,” he said on the show according to the paper. “I have to tell you something today that I wish I did not have to tell you … I cannot help but feel that I am letting everybody down with this but the upshot is that I have been diagnosed with advanced lung cancer.”
The celebrity admitted he was reluctant to discuss his personal life and was grateful for having more than 31 years to develop an “incredible bond” with his audience.
When news of his fight with severe lung cancer reached the Oval Office, the president felt compelled to send his best wishes and thank him for his decades of “tireless devotion” to the United States.
“Almost everybody knows the pain when a loved one is diagnosed with a serious illness,” he said. “Here tonight is a special man, beloved by millions of Americans, who just received a stage four advanced cancer diagnosis. This is not good news but what is good news is that he is the greatest fighter and winner that you will ever meet.”
Limbaugh has been a good friend of the president for many years and was allocated a seat in the gallery next to the first lady and more guests of the president.
The White House website describes the Presidential Medal of Freedom as the nation’s “highest civilian honor.”
“Established by President John F. Kennedy in 1963, this prestigious award is the nation’s highest civilian honor,” the website said. “It is awarded by the president of the United States to individuals who have made exceptional contributions to the security or national interests of America, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.”