The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum last night bestowed its Profile in Courage Award to five individuals, including the speaker of the Arizona House of Representatives, Rusty Bowers.
This year’s award winners were recognized for “their courage to protect and defend democracy in the United States and abroad.”
Bowers was honored for his refusal to consent to attempts to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election.
“President Kennedy reminds us to govern is to choose – to choose facts over falsehoods, to honor one’s oath and the rule of law over the rule of convenience, to respect the people’s choice at the ballot box, even or especially when the result may not be according to our own desire,” Bowers said in his remarks accepting the award. “These acts should not be noteworthy, nor should they be praiseworthy. These decisions are the least that the people should expect of those to whom they entrust the power to choose for them.”
In addition to Bowers, honorees last night were Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney, Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, and Wandrea’ ArShaye Moss, an employee of the Fulton County, Georgia Department of Registration & Elections.
Bowers in his remarks acknowledged the contributions of his fellow honorees.
“Six decades ago in this city, President Kennedy said that the true person of courage is one whom has the courage to stand up; yes, to one’s enemies, and the courage to stand up also when necessary to one’s associates,” he said. “And the true person of dedication is one who has an honor mortgaged to no single individual or group and is devoted solely to serving the public good and national interest.”
Rep. Cheney paid tribute to Bowers and his family in her acceptance remarks.
“The grace, and the compassion, and the courage that they have shown is unmatched,” she said. “The lesson that he gave us tonight and that he has given us throughout is one that we as Americans all benefit and are blessed by.”
President Kennedy’s family established the award in 1989 to honor the former president and to celebrate political courage.
The award is named for Profiles in Courage, the 1957 Pulitzer prize-winning book by Kennedy that tells the stories of eight U.S. Senators who risked their careers by embracing unpopular positions for the greater good.