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Tuesday
Nov092010

Indonesia Honors President Obama's Late Mother with Gold Medal

Photo Courtesy - SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images(JAKARTA, Indonesia) -- At a state dinner honoring President Obama Tuesday, Indonesian President Yudhoyono presented Mr. Obama a gold medal on behalf of his late mother, Ann Dunham, who lived and studied in Indonesia for more than a decade.

“I am proud and humbled to accept this award on behalf of my mother,” President Obama said. “And although she could not be here in person, I know that my sister Maya Soetoro would be equally proud.” He said he was “deeply moved.”

Dunham died in 1995 at the age of 52.

“The fact, Mr. President, that you would choose to recognize my mother in this way speaks to the bonds that she forged over many years with the people of this magnificent country,” President Obama said.

Mr. Obama said that as “a young boy in Menteng Dalam” -- the Jakarta neighborhood where he lived -- “40 years ago, I could never imagine that I would one day be hosted here at Istana Negara” -– the state palace –- “never mind as president of the United States.  I didn’t think I would be stepping into this building ever.”

The president offered a toast in “the spirit of friendship between our two countries, we are reminded of the truth that no nation is an island, not even when you’re made up of thousands of islands.  We all rely on each other together, like bamboo and the river bank.  And like my mother riding between villages on a motorcycle, we are all stronger and safer when we see our common humanity in each other.”

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio