U.S. President George Bush presented the nation's highest civilian award to the six recipients in a White House ceremony.
"The award recognizes outstanding individuals who have been leaders in their chosen fields, have led lives of vision and character, and have made especially meritorious contributions to our nation and the world," Bush said during his humor-laced remarks. "Today we add the names of six remarkable Americans to that select list."
The recipients and the White House description of their service are:
-- Dr. Benjamin Carson Sr., a pioneer in pediatric neurosurgery.
-- Dr. Anthony Fauci, who worked on treatment of HIV/AIDS and helped develop the White House HIV/AIDS policy.
-- The late Rep. Tom Lantos, D-Calif., the only Holocaust survivor to serve in Congress.
-- U.S. Marine Corps Gen. Peter Pace, retired Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman.
-- Donna Shalala, University of Miami president and the U.S. secretary of Health and Human Services under President Bill Clinton.
-- U.S. Appeals Court Judge Laurence Silberman, who also was co-chairman of a bipartisan commission on intelligence reform.