The George Washington Honor Medal was presented Friday to seven Utahns by the Utah Chapter of the Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge.
The awards, the highest presented to individual citizens by the national educational and non-profit foundation, were presented at a luncheon in the Little America Hotel.Rodney H. Brady, a member of the national foundation board and president and chief executive officer of Bonneville International Corp., addressed the meeting.
Several patriotic vocal selections by a group of Salt Lake area musicians punctuated the patriotic theme on Veterans Day. Nona R. Dyer, chapter president, welcomed the audience, and Zenda H. Hull, vice president, conducted the awards presentation.
Recipients of the medal, presented on a stage with a large American flag forming a backdrop, and category of winners' selection are:
-Elder L. Tom Perry of the Council of the Twelve, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, who was honored for an address, "Patriotism - It is for the Responsible, Not the Spectator." The award for Elder Perry, who is on assignment for the church in Argentina, was accepted by his son, Lee Perry.
-Elder Dallin H. Oaks, also of the Council of the Twelve, for a talk, "The Divinely Inspired Constitution," delivered at America's Freedom Festival at Provo.
-Richard W. Linford, Salt Lake City, a vice president/analysis and special projects, Bonneville International, for an article, "Upholding the Constitution in Your Home, Family," which was published in the Church News section of the Deseret News.
-Judge J. Clifford Wallace of the U.S. 5th Circuit Court, San Diego, for a talk, "The Importance of Our Constitution," at Brigham Young University Law School. Wallace was unable to attend the gathering to receive his award.
-Stan Ferguson, Bountiful, a TV producer for Bonneville Media Communications, for a syndicated television special, "America, The Dream Goes On," which was aired over more than 105 TV stations in celebration of the Bicentennial of the Constitution."
-Stacey Mollenhauer, for an essay, "America, The Land of Dreams," published when she was a ninth-grader at Syracuse Junior High School. The essay was published April 29, 1987, in the Deseret News. Stacey, 16, now a Clearfield High junior, is a daughter of Alan and Barbara Mollenhauer.
-Jack S. Bailey, Centerville, for a free-lance article, "Kids Write About the Constitution," also published in the Deseret News. Bailey is the manager of the Clearfield office of the Utah Department of Employment Security.
Hull, who founded and is the chapter's first president, told the audience that nominations for the awards faced stiff national competition. She said final winners were selected by an awards jury, including chief or associate justices of state supreme courts.
In his talk Brady cited the need for reigniting the spark of appreciation for freedoms sought or fought for by men such as George Washington.
"It was during the Revolutionary War, of course, that at Valley Forge, this dream of freedom almost went out. But (if it weren't) for one man, who could still see what the possibilities were for this nation if we could develop independence. Were it not for that one man I believe that spark might very well have been extinguished right there. There are hundreds of millions of Americans right now in whose bosom burns that spark of freedom," Brady said.
"In many cases our fellow citizens face their Valley Forge. And it takes someone or some institution to come forward and reignite that spark. That's what all of us ought to be about when it comes to our commitment to these great principles," Brady said.
He urged adherence to a "Bill of Responsibilities," developed by the Freedoms Foundation, and to his own "Nine Resolutions in Trilogy," which he said every loyal American should consider. The latter includes at least yearly reading of the Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights and Washington's second inaugural address.
Brady asked those in the audience to stand who had served or serve in the military or who have had sons or daughters in the military. Many stood in response to the request.
"Today is Veterans Day. It's a day when we honor those who have been willing to take that ultimate commitment to freedom. And to you I extend a special applause and thank you for the sacrifice and commitment you have made in the cause of freedom," he added.