OC Register: "O.C. civil rights icon Mendez awarded Medal of Freedom"


WASHINGTON – Sylvia Mendez smiled through tears Tuesday as President Barack Obama draped the Medal of Freedom around her neck, overcome as she remembered the desegregation fight her parents waged on her behalf.

“I never could have imagined as a child battling segregation that I would end up one day meeting the president and receiving such a tremendous honor,” said Mendez, 74, of Fullerton.

"My parents just wanted what was best for their children. So I have made it my life’s work to spread their message."

President Barack Obama presents human rights activist Sylvia Mendez with the 2010 Medal of Freedom in a ceremony in the East Room of the White House on Tuesday.


Ashley TemmComment