"We have got to learn how to work together, around the corner and around the world," Clinton said after receiving his award Wednesday in Kansas City. "Harry Truman got that."
Clinton urged the audience to follow Truman's example of looking beyond differences and concentrating on common sentiments, The Kansas City Star reported.
"What we have in common is more important," he said.
Also honored Wednesday was Logan R. Black, former U.S. Army sergeant who was a combat engineer in Iraq who searched for roadside bombs with Diego, a bomb-sniffing Labrador. The Star said Black received a veteran's medal that is awarded annually.
Diego accompanied Black to the ceremony.
Black stressed the importance of neighborhood, even in a war zone, the Star said.
"Our greatest success was where we [military personnel] were good as citizens," Black said.
Clinton said he wished he could have meet Truman because "the simple virtues he grew up with and lived by were coupled with an incredibly fine mind and a steel spine."
Since 1973, the Harry S. Truman Good Neighbor Award Foundation has honored an individual on or near the anniversary of Truman's birthday, May 8, 1884.
Previous recipients include former President Gerald Ford; former U.S. Sens. Bob Dole of Kansas, and Jean Carnahan and Kit Bond of Missouri; historian David McCullough; news anchor Walter Cronkite and actor Gary Sinise.