Robert Gates in Philly to Receive Liberty Medal

Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates is coming to Philadelphia to receive the 2011 Liberty Medal.

Gates will receive the award Thursday evening at the National Constitution Center on Independence Mall.

The 67-year-old Gates stepped down July 1 after serving as defense secretary since 2006, under Republican George W. Bush and Democrat Barack Obama.

He presided over the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and was involved in key decisions including the repeal of the "don't ask, don't tell" policy for gays in the military.

Since 1989, the Liberty Medal has been given annually to individuals or organizations whose actions strive to bring liberty to people worldwide.

Previous recipients include director Steven Spielberg and former Czech President Vaclav Havel.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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