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Bruce Springsteen joined a group of top-shelf figures from the entertainment, sports, science and business worlds in a ceremony at the White House Tuesday (11/22) where President Obama presided over the ceremony awarding the highest civilian honor given by the country, the Medal of Freedom.  Joining Springsteen in receiving the honor were actors and activists Robert De Niro, Tom Hanks, Cicely Tyson and Robert Redford, atheletic superstars Kareem Abdul Jabar and Michael Jordan, SNL producer Lorne Michaels, business tycoon and philanthripists Bill and Melinda Gates, architect Frank Gehry, NASA scientist Margaret Hamilton, the designer of the Vietnam Memorial, Maya Lin, comediane and talk show host Ellen DeGeneres and fellow musical artist Diana Ross.  The President reserved the final award for Bruce, noting, 'I am the President. He is the Boss. Pushing 70, he is stilll pushing down four-hour sets.  I thought twice about giving him the Medal of Freedom since he calls himself a prisoner of rock n' roll'.  Of the group as a whole, Obama said, 'It's useful when you think about this incredible collection of people that this is what makes us the greatest nation on Earth - not because of our differences but because in our difference we find something in common to share.'

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