Announcement on Awarding the Presidential Citizens Medal to Joe Delaney

July 13, 1983

The President today awarded the Presidential Citizens Medal to Joseph Alton (Joe) Delaney, of Haughton, La., who lost his life while attempting to save three children in a drowning incident at Monroe, La., on June 29, 1983.

Mr. Delaney, a football player for the Kansas City Chiefs, was given the award for making ``the ultimate sacrifice by placing the lives of three children above regard for his own safety.''

The medal will be presented on the President's behalf by Vice President Bush in ceremonies at the Haughton High School gymnasium at 9:30 a.m., Friday, July 15.

Following is the text of the President's award citation:

Born with God-given physical talent, Joe Delaney brought distinction to himself and pride to his family and friends by exemplifying the best in sportsmanship as an outstanding high school, college and professional football player. Even more important, he set an example of citizenship off the playing field, as a caring, involved member of his community of Haughton, Louisiana.

On June 29, 1983, Joe Delaney, at age 24, made the ultimate sacrifice by placing the lives of three children above regard for his own safety.

By this supreme example of courage and compassion, this brilliantly-gifted young man left a spiritual legacy for his fellow Americans, in recognition of which I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States, do hereby award Joe Delaney the Presidential Citizens Medal.