There's more White House video, including an excerpt of an interview with Liz here: http://www.whitehouse.gov/citizensmedal
I think I am almost as excited as Liz is that she has received this great honor. I served nearly 40 years in the National Park Service, and as Superintendent of North Cascades National Park learned of the Student Conservation Association and its impact on youth and the parks. North Cascades could not have been managed as well without them.
And then I met Liz and I understood immediately why this organization and their interns and crews were so wonderful. Liz is a fountain of energy who you love the moment you meet her and become imbued with her mission and the spirit behind it forever more immediately. She personifies the very best of the United States of America's spirit. To this day, over 50 years after she began this endeavor, she embraces the evolution of the SCA as it adds to the kinds of service it provides on the public lands, intuitively understanding that it is the concept of her idea that is important, not the just the form that it took in its early years. As a consequence, SCA is Liz...a force for bettering kids' lives, for imbuing in people a sense of service rather than entitlement, for making the public lands relevant in ways never envisioned,and for protecting their integrity.
There is no one person outside of my immediate family whom I know that I value more in my life, who inspires me more, and who makes me feel the warmth and caring that a true friend brings. That she can be an equal friend to many individuals and to the nation as a whole is testament to her greatness as a citizen, and as a person.
President Obama, thank you for recognizing her.
Congratulations to Liz for a richly deserved honor and for being a true patriot in service to her country. She has touched many lives for the better and has greatly furthered the cause of environmental conservation.
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