Watch CBS News

Robert Gates Awarded Liberty Medal In Philadelphia

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- The National Constitution Center awarded its 2011 Liberty Medal Award to former U.S. Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates.

Dr. Robert Gates was awarded the Liberty Medal in honor of five decades of defending freedom, promoting diplomacy and supporting American troops.

Dr. Gates told the crowd he believes we are in uncharted waters when it comes to the dysfunction of our political system. He says compromise has become a dirty word.

"It appears that as a result of several long building, polarizing trends in American politics and culture, we have lost the ability to execute even the basic functions of government, much less solving the most difficult and divisive problems facing the country."

Gates says the warning given by Ben Franklin a long time ago still applies:

"Either we hang together, or we will surely all hang separately. Thank you again for this great honor and God bless our republic and the compromises on which it was founded."

Reported by John McDevitt, KYW Newsradio

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.