In his very first week on the job, President Obama signed an executive order banning the use of torture, as well as other “coercive interrogation methods.” (He also signed an executive order directing Guantanamo Bay to be closed within a year, but we’ll leave that for another blog post.)At the time of signing he even invited 16 retired military leaders who had spoken out against torture to come to the ceremony, talking of the “extraordinary impression” their pleas had on him.

Two and a half years later, the ACLU is joined by many of the country’s leading civil liberties and human rights groups in calling on President Obama to not just talk about the immorality of torture, but to formally honor those who stood up against it during the Bush Administration. The New York Times has endorsed this idea, accurately describing it as a “small gesture” to honor our “unsung heroes.”

We’ve given out civilian and military awards to thousands of deserving Americans and it would be a very meaningful gesture to extend similar honors to both the soldiers and public servants who spoke out against torture. Tell President Obama he should show his commitment to ending such immoral practices by honoring the brave people who stood up against them at a time when it wasn’t easy to do so.