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Jack Thompson

OREM — Four people tonight will receive Freedom Awards, given annually by officials of America's Freedom Festival at Provo.

The awards will be given at a 6:30 p.m. gala held at Brigham Young University's Wilkinson Center Ballroom.

Vicki Garbutt, one of the festival's organizers, said the four were selected from a field of nominees. The festival board reviews nominees and chooses individuals who demonstrate a commitment to or defense of four traditional American values of family, freedom, God and country.

The recipients are:

• Officials say Bill Farley was selected for an award because he has taken full advantage of the freedoms that America offers. Farley came from humble roots before a successful career in business.

• Lawyer Jack Thompson will receive an award for his dedication to protecting the family and children by fighting to keep obscene, violent or pornographic images and commentary off the airwaves.

• Air Force Maj. Brian Shul, a retired pilot, was selected for his commitment to serving his nation as a pilot. Shul was shot down in Vietnam, suffering severe burns, before returning to the cockpit to fly the singular SR-71 Blackbird spy plane for the Air Force.

• Immaculee Ilibagiza was selected due to what Garbutt called an incredible story. Ilibagiza survived the genocide in Rwanda in 1994 that took the lives of her family. She went on to face her family's killer and, Garbutt said, she found a way to completely forgive the murderer.