October 28th, 2009
02:35 PM ET
9 years ago

Former senator awarded Congressional Gold Medal


President Obama was joined Wednesday by Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid at a ceremony honoring former Sen. Edward Brooke. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

Washington (CNN) - Edward Brooke, the first African-American elected to the U.S. Senate by popular vote, was honored Wednesday with a Congressional Gold Medal.

"At a time when so many doors were closed to African-Americans, others might have become angry or disillusioned," President Obama told an audience in the Capitol Rotunda, where the ceremony honoring Brooke for Congress' greatest honor was held.

"They might have concluded that no matter how hard they worked, their horizons would always be limited. So why bother? Not Ed Brooke," he said.

Brooke, 90, was a Republican senator from Massachusetts for two full terms, from 1967 to 1979.

"He ran for office, as he put it, to bring people together who had never been together before, and that he did," the president said.

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Filed under: Congress • President Obama
soundoff (6 Responses)
  1. RCasson

    What a beautiful moment. I'm so glad it was the first black President to award this historical senator.

    October 28, 2009 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  2. A wised up Democrat who is now an Independant

    You betcha OBAMA we're together. We will never be together as long as there is so much racial hatred out there by the AAs.

    October 28, 2009 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  3. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    An award well deserved. It sounded like he took a swipe at his party for being OBSTRUCTIONISTS.

    October 28, 2009 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  4. John Black Hills/SD

    A worthy award for an American who deserves the Congressional Gold Medal, and a model for every man or woman who chooses to serve as a representative for the people. Not like many (but not all) of today's politicians who are in it just for themselves.

    October 28, 2009 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  5. Anonymous

    When is the democrats going to realize obama is not a democrat,thats why he dont fight for democratic issues,boy did we get had by electing this imposter.if obama really wanted the public option the democrats wont have any truble getting it,but this guy dont want anything that would benefit liberals,thats why its time to dump this guy,all of us liberals was fooled by this guy,but lets make sure we dont get fooled again.

    October 28, 2009 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  6. Doug, New Jersey

    Maybe the way to honor him is for Congress to pass a bill against the biggest form of real racism in America today, which is ideological racism carried out by liberal Democrats who believe that people who have a certain skin color are not allowed to have ideological freedom and that must be subjected to the most vile form of racism and hate until they start marching to liberalism.

    Not one conservative in America has ever directed any form of racism at any minority that comes close to that which Clarence Thomas was subjected to from almost every liberal Democrat in this country.

    October 28, 2009 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |