Following the spirit of freedom

Updated November 18, 2018 - 7:27 am

Rising to stand beside President Trump on the East Room dais felt, to me, like floating. When he clasped America’s highest civilian honor around my neck, I was euphoric with wonderment and gratitude.

As a former military officer and medical doctor of decades’ standing, I am not prone to reveries. What I experienced at Friday’s White House ceremony was something else: the awe that comes with sensing, suddenly, how faith and fate have steered one’s life.

The Presidential Medal of Freedom is a uniquely magnanimous tribute to distinguished public service, whether by U.S. citizens or foreigners. I am both — an Israeli native and a naturalized American — and see this medal as the ultimate endorsement of the two nations’ shared values and destiny.

The advancement of liberty is at the heart of that alliance. It is what has inspirited my decades of work in disease research, the treatment of drug addiction and philanthropy.

It is the kindred spirit that I found in my beloved husband, Sheldon, and the spirit in which we have raised our children and which they, in turn, have raised theirs.

I owe so much to so many who share in this spirit — the spirit of the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

It was first imparted to me by my beloved parents, Menucha and Symcha.

Barely out of their teens, they had set off alone from the gathering doom of 1930s Poland to stake out a corner of the world where they could live free, unafraid, a nation among the nations. The Holocaust robbed them of their parents and siblings, but not of their humanity or hope.

There, in a young State of Israel struggling to survive, they raised me to foster and fight for liberty — for myself, for my people, for wider humankind, and at all times.

I found that spirit in the Israel Defense Forces, where I served as a medical research officer, and later, when I had the privilege of joining the ranks of the world’s healers, providing release for the sick and the stricken.

Today, I find that spirit in the brave American and Israeli soldiers overcoming wounds sustained in the War on Terror, and whom my husband Sheldon — himself a U.S. Army veteran — and I have had the honor of helping.

I find that spirit in the drug addicts I treat, both juveniles and adults, for whom recovery is a liberation from enslavement, from the torment of withdrawal and also, all too often, from ostracism by society.

It is the spirit of those who fight and sacrifice so that they might love freely, like the young Afghan couple who braved their families’ blood-feud and, with me and other well-wishers interceding, secured a new life together abroad.

The spirit of this medal is that of the Jewish people, which millennia ago, from the flight of Exodus to the battles of the Maccabees, lit the torch of individual liberty for humanity at large — a torch now long held aloft by the United States.

The spirit of this medal is the spirit of the free market, which undergirds liberal societies, creates wealth that can be used for the greater good, and encourages charity and amity.

It also is the spirit of President Trump.

He has blazed new trails in U.S. policies with courage and conviction. He knows that one has to stand for what is right, even if that means standing alone. He knows that truth is not always popular, though it wins out.

I think of all of these people, and feel humbled at having been able to journey with them toward a better world.

Thank you, Mr. President. And thank you, America. May the spirit of this medal continue to guide you, and us all.

Dr. Miriam Adelson is a specialist in chemical dependency and drug addiction, and a philanthropist. With her husband, Sheldon Adelson, she is the owner of the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

Officer-involved shooting in Nye County
The Nye County Sheriff's Office gives information about a shooting in Pahrump on Thursday night after a man began firing shots outside of his home. (Nye County Sheriff's Office)
Law Enforcement Active Shooter Training Exercise
Multiple Las Vegas Valley law enforcement agencies held an active shooter drill at the Department of Public Safety’s Parole and Probation office on December 6, 2018. Officials set up the training exercise to include multiple active shooters, a barricaded suspect and multiple casualties. (Katelyn Newberg/ Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Public memorial service for Jerry Herbst
Archiving effort hits milestone at Clark County Museum
The Clark County Museum catalogs the final item from the bulk of Route 91 Harvest festival artifacts. (John Przybys/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Pearl Harbor survivor Edward Hall talks about his memories of Dec. 7, 1941
U.S. Army Corps Edward Hall, a 95-year-old survivor of Pearl Harbor talks about his memories of that horrific day. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Final Route 91 Harvest festival remembrance objects catalogued at Clark County Museum
The last of the more than 17,000 items left at the makeshift memorial near the Las Vegas sign after the Oct. 1 shootings have been catalogued at the Clark County Museum in Las Vegas. The final item was a black-and-white bumper sticker bearing "#VEGASSTRONG. An additional 200 items currently on display at the museum will be catalogued when the exhibit comes down. (K.M. Cannon Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Dozier execution timeline
Scott Dozier was set to be executed July 11, 2018, at the Ely State Prison. Judge Elizabeth Gonzalez delayed the execution.
Grand Jury Indicts Constable for theft
A Clark County grand jury indicted Henderson Constable Earl Mitchell. A Las Vegas Review-Journal investigation prompted the criminal probe. The newspaper found Mitchell wrote himself thousands in checks, took out cash at ATMs and traveled on county funds. He faces four felony counts of theft and a county of public misconduct. Mitchell and his attorney could not be reached for comment.
93-year-old WWII veteran arrested during visit to VA hospital
Dr. S. Jay Hazan, 93, a World War II veteran, talks about his arrest during his visit to VA hospital on Friday, Nov. 30. (Erik Verduzco Las Vegas Review-Journal @Erik_Verduzco_
Pearl Harbor survivor struggles in her senior years
Winifred Kamen, 77, survived the attack on Pearl Harbor as an infant, works a 100 percent commission telemarketing job to make ends meet. (K.M. Cannon Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas Metropolitan Briefing 18th street gang
Las Vegas Metropolitan briefs the media on the recent arrests made regarding the 18th street gang.
Man shot in Las Vegas traffic stop had knife, police say
Police said the man fatally shot by an officer during a traffic stop in downtown Las Vegas had a “homemade knife.” Demontry Floytra Boyd, 43, died Saturday at University Medical Center from multiple gunshot wounds after officer Paul Bruning, 48, shot him during a traffic stop. Bruning pulled Boyd over on suspicion of driving recklessly at 7:41 a.m. near Sunrise Avenue and 18th Street.
Catahoula dogs rescued from home in Moapa Valley
Catahoula dogs were brought to The Animal Foundation after being rescued from home in Moapa Valley.
Intuitive Forager Kerry Clasby talks about losses in California wildfire
Intuitive Forager Kerry Clasby talks about losses she suffered in California's Woolsey Fire in Malibu in November. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Benefit dinner for Kerry Clasby, the Intuitive Forager
Sonia El-Nawal of Rooster Boy Cafe in Las Vegas talks about having a benefit for Kerry Clasby, known as the Intuitive Forager, who suffered losses on her farm in California’s Woolsey Fire in Malibu. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Former President George H.W. Bush dies at 94
Former President George H.W. Bush has died at the age of 94. He died Friday night in Houston, about eight months after the death of his wife, Barbara.
Las Vegans Celebrate Big Snowfall
Las Vegans celebrate big snowfall at Lee Canyon.
Exploring old mines for denim jeans and other vintage items
Caden Gould of Genoa, Nev. talks about his experiences looking for vintage denim jeans and other items in old mines and other places areas across Nevada and the west.
Officers share photo of dead gunman after Las Vegas shooting
A little over an hour after SWAT officers entered Stephen Paddock's suite at Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas police officers far from the scene were already sharing cell phone photos of the dead Oct. 1 gunman.
Frontier jet safely returns to Las Vegas after losing engine piece
Frontier jet safely returns to Las Vegas after losing engine piece. (@FlightAlerts_)
Park Service plans ahead for lower lake levels
National Park Service releases new plans to maintain access to the water as Lake Mead continues to shrink.
Women claim abuse at Florence McClure Women's Correctional Facility
Current and ex-inmates, including Merry West, are suing Florence McClure Women’s Correctional Facility, claiming abuse and inadequate medical care. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @rookie__rae
Butte County Sheriff's Office Body Cam Footage
Bodycam video from Butte County (Calif.) Sheriff's Office Deputy Aaron Parmley, who was in Paradise November 8 helping with evacuations. (Butte County Sheriff's Office)
NDOT construction blasting along State Route 106
NDOT construction blasting along State Route 160, near Mt. Potosi Road, in Clark County as part of a $59 million, 6-mile-long highway widening project that began this summer. (Nevada Department of Transportation)
Car crashes into Papa Murphy's Pizza shop
A driver crashed a car into a western Las Vegas Valley pizza shop on Tuesday morning, police said. (Joe Stanhibel/Special to Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Low-lake-level pumping station nears completion
Barnard Construction and the Southern Nevada Water Authority give one last tour before the new low-lake-level pumping station is activated.
Trailer: Valley of Fires
Sultan’s Playroom from Make-A-Wish Southern Nevada
Make-A-Wish Southern Nevada’s Scott Rosenzweig talks about granting Sultan Bouras Souissi’s wish, and what went into building it. (John Hornberg/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Jim Marsh brings historic replica of rural church to Amargosa Valley
Jim Marsh talks during the opening of the Chapel at Longstreet, a replica of an 1874 Catholic church built in the mining town of Belmont, Nev., at Marsh's Longstreet Casino in Amargosa Valley, Nev. Chase Stevens/ Las Vegas Review-Journal
Las Vegas Livestock recycling Strip food waste
Las Vegas Livestock collects and recycles food from many Las Vegas Strip companies. (Nicole Raz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
News Headlines
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
You May Like

You May Like