Washington (Agencies): In a glittering ceremony at the White House, US President Barack Obama presented his former counterpart George HW Bush and investor Warren Buffett the 2010 Medal of Freedom—the United State's highest civilian honour.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel would be receiving the award soon when she visits the United States.

"When we award this medal to a Congressman John Lewis, it says that we aspire to be a more just, more equal, more perfect union. When we award it to a Jasper Johns, it says we value the original and the imaginative," Obama said in his speech after felicitating the 15 recipients.

"When we award it to a Warren Buffett, it says we'd all like to be so humble and wise and maybe make a little money along the way. And when we award it to former President George HW Bush, it says we celebrate an extraordinary life of service and of sacrifice," he added.

Lauding Angela Merkel’s dream of freedom while she was growing up in communist East Germany, Obama noted that when finally Germany was reunited, she broke barriers of her own, becoming the first East German—and the first woman—to become chancellor of Germany.

As the 41st President of the country, Obama briefed, Bush spread America's promise to new immigrants and people with disabilities.

"He reduced nuclear weapons. He built a broad international coalition to expel a dictator from Kuwait. When democratic revolutions swept across Eastern Europe, it was the steady diplomatic hand of President Bush that made possible an achievement once thought impossible—ending the Cold War without firing a shot," he added.