U.S. President Barack Obama presents Youth Becoming Healthy founder Pamela Green Jackson with the 2012 Presidential Citizens Medal, the nation's second-highest civilian honor, in the East Room of the White House February 15, 2013 in Washington, DC. 'Their selflessness and courage inspire us all to look for opportunities to better serve our communities and our country,' Obama said about this year's recepients. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is bestowing the Presidential Citizens Medal on the six adults killed in the Newtown, Conn., school shooting in December.

Obama presented the medal to family members of the six educators from Sandy Hook Elementary School in a White House ceremony. He read their names one by one, saying they gave their lives to protect the children in their care.

Dr. T. Berry Brazelton, a renowned pediatrician who developed a leading behavioral test for newborns, was also honored, as was former Pennsylvania Sen. Harris Wofford and a handful of others who were recognized for contributions to public service.

Obama says citizenship binds the nation together and captures Americans’ belief in something bigger than themselves.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.