Ellen DeGeneres tearfully accepts Medal of Freedom

For the last time, President Obama awarded his Presidential Medals of Freedom to a star-studded list of 21 recipients, including Michael Jordan, Bill and Melinda Gates, Bruce Springsteen, Tom Hanks and Diana Ross. 

Coincidentally, many of the recipients have been hyper critical of President-elect Donald Trump, or been pro-Democrats during this year's presidential race. 

The Medal of Freedom is America's highest civilian honour, and Obama noted that each recipient had helped shaped his presidency, and touched him in a powerful way. 

One such recipient touched us in a powerful way, however, Ellen DeGeneres. 

The comedienne and actress struggled to hold it together as she beamed next to Obama, who offered her a comforting pat on the back and hug during the ceremony. A White House aid praised her for blazing a trail for LGBTQ equality, saying: 'At a pivotal moment, her courage and candor helped change the hearts and minds of millions of Americans, accelerating our nation's constant drive towards equality and acceptance for all.'

 'Ellen DeGeneres has showed us that a single individual can make the world a more fun, more open, more loving place, so long as we just keep swimming,' he added, referring to her role as Dory in Finding Nemo

As Obama issued the medal to DeGeneres, her pride and excitement was palpable. 

See Ellen DeGeneres moving acceptance of her Medal of Freedom below: