The Ronald Reagan Freedom Award is the highest civilian honor bestowed by the private Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation. The award is given to "those who have made monumental and lasting contributions to the cause of freedom worldwide."
Today, the award is given by Former First Lady Nancy Reagan on behalf of her husband, who died in June 2004. The award was first given in 1992, by President Ronald Reagan himself, as well as in 1993, but in 1994 Mrs. Reagan presented the award instead of her husband. Ronald Reagan had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease a few months before, and was not able to attend the ceremony.
In order to receive the award, the potential recipient must "have made monumental and lasting contributions to the cause of freedom worldwide," as well as "embody President Reagan's lifelong belief that one man or woman truly can make a difference."
Read more about Ronald Reagan Freedom Award: Recipients
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“Information is the oxygen of the modern age. It seeps through the walls topped by barbed wire, it wafts across the electrified borders.”
—Ronald Reagan (b. 1911)
“The award of a pure gold medal for poetry would flatter the recipient unduly: no poem ever attains such carat purity.”
—Robert Graves (18951985)
“To thee, fair Freedom! I retire
From flattery, cards, and dice, and din:
Nor art thou found in mansions higher
Than the low cot, or humble inn.
Tis here with boundless powr I reign;
And evry health which I begin
Converts dull port to bright champagne;
Such Freedom crowns it, at an inn.”
—William Shenstone (17141763)
“No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life well ever see on this earth!”
—Ronald Reagan (b. 1911)