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1994 Liberty Medal Recipient

"President Havel will receive this award at Independence Hall, where 76 years ago, his predecessor, Tomas Masaryk, proclaimed the independence of Czechoslovakia. Vaclav Havel inspired the ‘velvet revolution’ which returned his country in 1989 to democratic liberties, civility and a market economy….He is a symbol to the world of the successful pursuit of cultural and political freedoms."
Liberty Medal International Selection Commission



"The idea of human rights and freedoms must be an integral part of any meaningful world order. Yet I think it must be anchored in a different place, and in a different way, than has been the case so far. If it is to be more than just a slogan mocked by half the world, it cannot be expressed in the language of a departing era, and it must not be mere froth floating on the subsiding waters of faith in a purely scientific relationship to the world…The Declaration of Independence, adopted two hundred and eighteen years ago in this building, states that the Creator gave man the right to liberty. It seems man can realize that liberty only if he does not forget the One who endowed him with it.” ...more

Vaclav Havel
Liberty Medal acceptance speech, July 4, 1994

Vaclav Havel Biographical Video