Ellen Degeneres accepts Medal of Freedom

“Just keep swimming”: An emotional Ellen DeGeneres held back tears as she stood next to President Obama and received the highest civilian honor given by The White House, the Medal of Freedom yesterday. “It’s easy to forget now just how much courage was required for Ellen to come out on the most public of stages 20 years ago,” Mr Obama said as he praised  the comedian and actress publicly coming out as gay. He said her bravery was important not only for the LGBT community, but helped “push our country in the direction of justice”.

Variations of Ellen at the Medal of Freedom event are going viral, including CNN’s Facebook video (with a good close up of Ellen and Obama) which has over 18 million views.

Other well known Medal of Freedom Recipients (2016) include Tom Hanks, Robert De Niro, Diana Ross, Michael Jordan, Bruce Springsteen and Robert Redford. You can watch the full ceremony via the ABC News YouTube Channel.