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LECH WALESA

WALESA

1989 Liberty Medal Recipient

“The movement for human liberty, like all great religious, social, cultural, economic and political movements, has its set of saints, its hagiology. Lech Walesa of Poland illuminates the constellation of saints devoted to liberty. We hope and expect that this award from this city, which over 200 years ago lit a large lamp of liberty for the United States and the globe, will add to your strength...”
Liberty Medal International Selection Commission

 

 

"Man’s desire for freedom is stronger than fear…And, if for a moment, man is held captive, the effort becomes similar to an attempt at holding back a river. A river is destined to flow; man is destined to retain the freedom granted him by his Creator…Man is not free if he calmly observes the captivity of another man. Liberty is not only a right, but also our common responsibility and duty."

Lech Walesa
Polish Solidarity founder and later Polish President

Liberty Medal acceptance speech, July 4, 1989