10/21/2011 09:03 am ET Updated Dec 21, 2011

2011 Presidential Citizens Medal Winners: See The Full List (SLIDESHOW)

Among those awarded by President Obama for their commitment to service were an LGBT activists, an environmentalist and a woman honored posthumously for fighting domestic abuse in the Indian-American community.

13 people received the Presidential Citizens Medal Thursday. The award is one of the nation's highest civilian honors, given to Americans who have "performed exemplary deeds of service for their country or their fellow citizens."

President Obama invited citizens around the country to nominate inspiring people, local heroes, and exemplary Americans in their lives or communities.

"No matter who they are or where they come from, recipients of the Citizens Medal are united by an unwavering desire to serve," he said.

Click through the slides below to see President Obama's picks: