Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is among five people named Thursday as recipients of the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award for their actions in protecting democracy.
Zelensky was chosen for assembling “the spirit, patriotism, and tireless sacrifice of the Ukrainian people in a life-or-death struggle for their country” as Russia sends in troops and attacks cities and towns, the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation said.
The foundation said four US officials were chosen for their commitment to free and fair elections as the system is challenged in ways it has never been before.
They are: Republican US Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers, and Campaigner Wandrea “Shaye” Moss of Fulton County, Georgia.
Caroline Kennedy and her son Jack Schlossberg will present the awards May 22 at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library in Boston. Established by the late President’s family to honor public figures who risk their careers by accepting unpopular positions for the greater good, the award is named after Kennedy’s 1957 Pulitzer Prize-winning book Profiles in named Courage.
“There is no more important issue for our country and the world today than the fight for democracy,” Kennedy said in a statement. “The war in Ukraine has shown the world that we cannot take freedom for granted, and the courage of our elected officials in the US reminds us that we as citizens have a responsibility to protect our democracy and exercise our basic right to vote .”
Cheney chaired the Republican House Conference before being ousted from her post last year for her relentless criticism of former President Donald Trump and comments blaming him for the Jan. 6, 2021 US Capitol violence.
The foundation said Cheney “broke with most in her party, pressed for allegiance to the Constitution, and stood her ground with honor and conviction” and that she remained a “consistent and courageous voice in defense of democracy.”
Michigan has been one of the battleground states where Trump allies have called for another review of the 2020 election. Benson defended the certification of the results.
One evening in December 2020, protesters showed up at her home angry at what they falsely described as voter fraud that led to Trump’s loss. The foundation said Benson has defended the will of Michigan voters, repeatedly refused to refrain from fulfilling the duties of office and continued to speak out about the risks to free and fair elections.
Bowers, a Republican, broke ranks with many in his party in December 2020 when he denied a request by Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani for the Arizona legislature to intervene and voters who were legally committed to Joe Biden by others replace those who would support Trump.
The foundation said Bowers made a “conscientious decision” for which he endured sustained harassment and intimidation tactics from Trump supporters, and he acted again to protect the integrity of Arizona’s elections by halting a sweeping election law that would eliminate almost all forms of early voting and require ballots to be counted by hand, although Republicans are still trying to pass those changes.
Moss has worked for the Fulton County Elections Department since 2012 and oversaw voting by mail during the 2020 election. Trump’s allies falsely claimed she was involved in voter fraud. The foundation said “despite the onslaught of random, undeserved and malicious attacks,” Moss continues to do “the hard and invisible work to run our democracy.”
https://nypost.com/2022/04/22/ukraine-president-zelensky-earns-john-f-kennedy-award-for-defending-democracy/ President of Ukraine Zelenskyy receives the John F. Kennedy Prize for defending democracy