Bennet Honors Shimon Peres with Congressional Gold Medal

Bennet Sponsored Bill to Celebrate Peres' Leadership

At a ceremony in the U.S. Capitol rotunda today, Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet joined his Congressional colleagues to honor Israeli President Shimon Peres with the Congressional Gold Medal for his leadership and contributions to society.

“The United States and Israel have a special relationship that is stronger thanks to President Peres’ leadership,” Bennet said. “His career will continue to serve as an example to the next generation’s leaders. The Congressional Gold Medal is a perfect way to celebrate President Peres’ contributions to the United States and Israel."

Last year, Bennet and Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) introduced a bill in the Senate to award President Peres with the medal, and Congressmen Joe Kennedy (D-MA) and Trent Franks (R-AZ) cosponsored companion legislation in the House of Representatives. The legislation was recently passed by both chambers of Congress and signed into law.

The Congressional Gold Medal is the highest civilian award bestowed by Congress and is awarded to individuals, organizations, or events that have made a tremendous contribution to the history and culture of our country.


Shimon Peres was born in Poland in 1923 and his family emigrated to Tel Aviv in 1934.  Peres went on to serve in several high-level cabinet positions in the Israeli government, including as Minister of Defense, Foreign Minister, and Prime Minister – a career in public service that spans over 70 years.  A member of Israel’s founding generation, he was elected president in 2007.  He will celebrate his 91st birthday on Saturday, August 2.

About the Congressional Gold Medal

Since the American Revolution, Congress has commissioned gold medals as its highest expression of national appreciation for distinguished achievements and contributions. Each medal honors a particular individual, institution, or event. Although the first recipients included citizens who participated in the American Revolution, the War of 1812, and the Mexican War, Congress broadened the scope of the medal to include actors, authors, entertainers, musicians, pioneers in aeronautics and space, explorers, lifesavers, notables in science and medicine, athletes, humanitarians, public servants, and foreign recipients.