Wyoming Leaders Celebrate Simpson's Presidential Medal

Prominent Wyoming Leaders Celebrate Simpson’s Presidential Medal of Freedom

Written by on July 7, 2022

Former Wyoming Senator Al Simpson received the Presidential Freedom from President Joe Biden on July 7, and many Wyoming leaders celebrate him as a worthy recipient.

Courtesy @RepLizCheney

On Thursday, July 7, former U.S. senator and lifelong Cody resident Al Simpson joined sixteen other Americans to receive the first Presidential Medals of Freedom awarded by President Joe Biden.

The White House webpage announcing each of today’s Presidential Medal of Freedom recipients describes Senator Simpson as a ” prominent advocate on issues including campaign finance reform, responsible governance, and marriage equality.”

Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon

“Congratulations to my friend Al Simpson, who received the Presidential Medal of Freedom today. Through his service to Wyoming and his work on behalf of our country, Al is a fitting recipient of this honor.”

U.S. Representative Liz Cheney

“Senator Al Simpson is a principled leader and his service to Wyoming and our nation is unmatched. He is most deserving of this honor and I am honored to call him friend.”

U.S. Senator John Barrasso

“Congratulations to Wyoming’s beloved Al Simpson on receiving the prestigious Presidential Medal of Freedom. Throughout his life, Al has boldly fought to uphold the values and ideals of our nation. Whether he was serving in the United States Army, the Wyoming House of Representatives or in the United States Senate, his commitment and contributions were evident. It’s fitting that Al receives the highest honor an American civilian can get for his service to our country. Bobbi and I are proud to call Al and Ann our friends and grateful for everything they’ve done to make Wyoming and our nation a better place.”

U.S Senator Cynthia Lummis

“Sen. Al Simpson is the epitome of a public servant. He’s been a tireless champion for WY who has left an outsized imprint on the country and world over. Sen. Simpson is so deserving of this honor & I join people in the Cowboy State in celebrating his contributions to our nation.”

University of Wyoming President Ed Seidel

“Sen. Simpson is truly deserving of our nation’s highest civilian honor. We all know him as a stalwart supporter of the University of Wyoming who has made such a difference for his beloved alma mater over many decades while he has served our state and nation as a legislator and statesman. It’s with a great sense of pride that we now celebrate President Biden’s recognition of Sen. Simpson for his exemplary contributions to the prosperity, values and security of the United States, world peace and other significant societal, public and private endeavors. He’s a gem of Wyoming and UW, and we join in saluting him on this special day.”

Heart Mountain Interpretive Center

The Heart Mountain Wyoming Foundation congratulates former Wyoming Senator Alan K. Simpson for being named as one of 17 Americans who will receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Joseph Biden. 

A White House announcement released Friday named Simpson, a native of Cody, as one of those who will receive the nation’s “highest civilian honor, presented to individuals who have made exemplary contributions to the prosperity, values, or security of the United States, world peace, or other significant societal, public or private endeavors.”

We can’t think of a more deserving recipient than Al Simpson, whose work on behalf of our foundation has helped us build a world-class interpretive center on the site of where almost 14,000 Japanese Americans were incarcerated during World War II.

As a Boy Scout in 1943, Simpson met his lifelong friend Norman Mineta during a Boy Scout jamboree behind the barbed wire at Heart Mountain. Together, they helped pass the 1988 Civil Liberties Act, which apologized to former incarcerees and paid them $20,000 each. 

In honor of the lives and careers of Simpson and Mineta, who passed away at age 90 in May, the Heart Mountain Wyoming Foundation has created the Mineta-Simpson Institute at Heart Mountain. Groundbreaking for the Institute will be held during our annual pilgrimage on July 28-30. Simpson and members of the Mineta family will attend. 

Mineta, a Democratic former House member and Cabinet secretary for two presidents, received the Medal of Freedom from Republican President George W. Bush in 2006. 

“President Biden’s selection of Alan Simpson, a Republican, to receive this great honor is a sign that he understands and appreciates the power of cooperation and civility,” said Shirley Ann Higuchi, chair of the Heart Mountain Wyoming Foundation. “That’s what the Mineta-Simpson Institute is all about.”

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