Carole Mikita ReportingThe Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civil award, has been given to President Gordon B. Hinckley of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. President Hinckley received another reward tonight, the National Forensic League's Communicator of the Year.
More than 3,000 students, top debaters from around the country, stopped their speeches and listened to the man chosen as their Communicator of the Year, President Gordon B. Hinckley.
President Gordon B. Hinckley, 2004 Communicator of the Year: "You are developing your capacity to communicate. There is nothing more important. Communication is the basic element of leadership."
He talked to the students about Ronald Reagan and Winston Churchill who stood up to their enemies, and Hilter whose rhetoric led a nation to the brink of destruction. Referring to their awards, he encouraged them to read good works, like the Bible.
President Hinckley: “And so I compliment you very talented and able young people tonight. God bless you, that your dreams may become reality, that your vision may become a plan for action."
President Hinckley received an even greater honor today from President Bush. Because of his ability to communicate with people throughout the world and because of his vision for humanitarian aid and disaster relief, President Hinckley is one of the recipients of The Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian award.
President Hinckley said tonight he is deeply honored and profoundly grateful and says this honors the church which has given him so many opportunities.
President Hinckley is one of twelve recipients of the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Among them are Pope John Paul II and Arnold Palmer. The awards will be given at the White House Wednesday, President Hinckley's 94th birthday.