Honor Norman Corwin with The Presidential Medal of Freedom

His legendary broadcasts before, during and after World War II inspired our nation.

Dear Mr. President:

Norman Lewis Corwin is a national treasure whose contributions to our nation have long been cherished by millions of fans. Mr. Corwin will become a centenarian on May 3, 2010. This gives you, Mr. President, a unique opportunity to award The Presidential Medal of Freedom to a man that inspired this nation with his legendary radio programs before, during and after World War II. He never failed to give his listeners a greater appreciation of the liberties and rights afforded to all Americans.

Mr. Corwin?s December 15, 1941 four-network broadcast celebrating the 150th anniversary of the Bill of Rights, ?We Hold These Truths,? was heard by Sixty-Three Million Americans?half of U.S. population at that time. Fifty years later, Mr. Corwin wrote an updated version for the 200th Anniversary in 1991, expanding the program for a new generation via National Public Radio.

When Nazi Germany surrendered on May 8, 1945, V-E Day, millions of Americans turned to the Poet Laureate of Radio to hear what has been called the single greatest radio broadcast of the 20th Century: Norman Corwin?s ?On A Note Of Triumph.? The show was so appreciated that a repeat performance was given on May 13, 1945.

On August 14, 1945, V-J Day, the nation once again turned to Mr. Corwin and once again he delivered: ?14 August.? The show would be expanded and rebroadcast as a Day of Prayer Special on August 19, 1945 as ?God and Uranium.? Again, Mr. Corwin revisited this program a half-century later with ?50 Years After 14 August? in 1995 in order to educate a new generation about The Greatest Generation.

Sadly, this great American?s career suffered at the hands of McCarthyism and the Red Scare. Never a communist or socialist, Mr. Corwin nevertheless paid a price for his fierce defense of the principles of freedom and equality for all Americans. As Mr. Corwin wrote at the conclusion of ?On A Note Of Triumph,? ?Brotherhood is not so wild a dream as those who profit by postponing it pretend.?

We urge you to consider this award in the event that Congress is unable to act upon a separate request to award Mr. Corwin The Congressional Gold Medal as a way to give the thanks of a grateful nation to a great American Icon.