Lech Walesa receives Ronald Reagan Freedom Award
PR dla Zagranicy
Former Solidarity leader and president of Poland has received the Ronald Reagan Freedom Award at a ceremony in Washington DC.
photo - PR
The ceremony, attended by around 500 politicians and business people including Defence Secretary Robert Gates, coincided with the anniversary of Reagan’s death in June 2004. Former First Lady Nancy Reagan could not attend due to ill health.
Nancy Reagan did follow the ceremony on a two-way video link, however, and said, “Lech, I know that Ronald would be very proud knowing that you have received this award”.
Walesa, who was honoured by the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation for services to spreading freedom around the world, gave a brief speech at the ceremony, where he said that the late US president had, alongside John Paul II and the Solidarity trade union, played a significant role in the toppling of communism in central and eastern Europe.
Previous recipients of the Ronald Reagan Freedom Award include Mikhail Gorbachev (1992), General Colin Powell (1993) and Margaret Thatcher (1998).
The medal-giving ceremony comes on the eve of President Obama‘s trip to Poland on 27 May.
Walesa is scheduled to meet with President Obama when he arrives in Poland at the end of this week. (pg)