tv 2014 Profile in Courage Award CSPAN May 26, 2014 7:20pm-8:01pm EDT
against a law targeting undocumented immigrants. this is 45 minutes. >> good morning, ladies and gentlemen, distinguished guests. i am ceo of the john f. kennedy library foundation and it is my pleasure to welcome you today encourage14 profiles ceremony. -- profile in courage ceremony. please join me and -- in welcoming our guests. [applause]
it is my great pleasure to introduce the chairman of the kennedy library foundation board of directors who gives endlessly of his time and extraordinary talents to both this institution and to our country. [applause] to welcome everybody here this morning. this is one of the great highlights of the year for this great library and we are honored to have all of you here with us today to celebrate a very special day. as we begin the ceremony, i want to acknowledge a couple of people who are pivotal and we are pleased that they are here today. first, my close friend and a man hisgives whatever he asked, vision, his work indispensable to this institution.
not -- do not know this but it is said that designed the tiffany lantern we will be presenting to our distinguished awardees. that is one of the many things that it does for us and i appreciate that. and rosewelcome ed schlossberg is here today. we are happy to have jack schlossberg. shy in ourt deliberations. we will hear more about jack and a few minutes. i want to extend a warm welcome to our honoree, paul bridges and auren bush who will accept
the award on behalf of her grandfather. we also welcome her husband david lauren and rebecca miller. thank you for being here today. i think that mayor bridges' three children have traveled across from the country to be with him today. we are very happy they could join us today. thank you. [applause] we are honored by the presence of several members of the bush family. president bush's sister, nancy bush-alice is here today. here today. and nancy lack. er husband thomas
black. you have made this a very special occasion for all of us. [applause] extend like to expand -- a special welcome to our current and former public officials who have joined us today. congresswoman donna edwards of maryland. somebody who needs no this libraryat since he is responsible for much of its success. my predecessor and for ms. u.s. senator -- former u.s. senator paul perl. olympiaer senator snowe. former governor johnson a new of new hampshire who was resident bush's white house chief of staff. you special personal thank to former transportation secretary andy card who served
president bush and that role is white house chief of staff. i can tell you he was essential to the success of the september 11 victim compensation fund. he was my of these on at the white house. what andy did i cannot repay him, i will be at his debt forever. thank you very much. [applause] both of whom served into poetic posts in president bush's administration. thank you for being here. a special thank you to [inaudible] in 2006ived the award and is with us to salute the newest recipients. a past winner of the award. we would like to thank -- there you are. thank you. youfinally a special thank in these -- and the introduction
of distinguished guests to our dinner chair and two nights award dinner who helped make this year's dinner and unprecedented success in terms of diversity, amount of money raised by the number of people coming. i have known him for six years, he is from brockton. bob epstein. thanks very much. we could not do any of the things that we do without the wisdom, generosity, the at theent of my board kennedy library foundation. the board of directors. i see some of them here today. i want to acknowledge and thank our or numbers who are with us and for all they do for this institution. board members sprinkled around this audience, thank you very much. finally before introducing our extend myer, i must
personal gratitude and the gratitude of the board to the two key people who run this institution day and and day out and they do it with the type of selfless energy that guarantee success. , heather new ceo campion. and the director of the kennedy presidential library and museum. my good friend tom putnam. [applause] forank them and the staff the work that you guys do in making this day possible and making this institution so relevant and important. id now, ladies and gentlemen, would like to introduce the chairman of the profile in courage award committee who leads the committee with humor,
and a, a bit of courage, great sense of empathy i think is a fair word in trying to deal with all of the committee members who work so diligently to select annual awardees. my good friend, loyal chairman, i do not know what i would do with ken -- without him, al hunt. [applause] >> thank you and welcome. i know what is on everyone's mind out there right now. lauren loan one of her jack?ather's socks to we will find out. it is my pleasure to work with a
really distinguished group. as ken alluded to, there are no shrinking violets in this group which makes it even more rewarding. most of the members of the committee are here today and i would like them to stand as we show our appreciation for their tremendous service to this institution. satcher paul kirk, senator olympia snow, congress one donna , elaine adam frankel david martha minnow, and [inaudible] thank you all. in addition to selecting the inspiring recipients of this year's profile in courage award we also choose the winner of the profile in urge sa -- courage essay.
9000 students in 41 states, washington dc, the virgin islands, canada, france, and korea submitted their essays about political courage. some of our judges are here with us today. i would like to ask them to stand as we acknowledge the service they provide. i also want to take a moment to express thanks to the wonderful people of john hancock, which provides invaluable financial support
to the profile in courage as a contest. now to the winner of the 20 14th contest.
freshman at palisades charter high school in california, where he is involved in social justice. he saw this as an opportunity to address these subjects with a broader audience. little did he realize how broad this audience might be. ben is a scientist and filmmaker. he placed second in c-span's student documentary competition. he is also involved in the school's robotics team and the santa monica amateur shauna mccullough. he originally wrote a different essay for this contest. he continued researching and writing and thinking about the concept up political
kerch, and -- kerch, and he told me he finished that essay. he concluded the subject that concluded his essay did not all
fight to the standard he aspired. so he continued searching and found one that exemplified courage.l less than a year after the shootings in colorado, john morris risked his political career to lead a passage of a new gun safety measure in colorado. he was recalled from office last fall in a special election organized by the opponents of the new legislation. since i have been on this committee i have never seen such impressive essays. was a runawayben winner. when you start placing your bets on the national office in 44 or 48, put money on ben. it has been a great pleasure that i present the citation that accompanied by $10,000 to recognize ben's outstanding
writing on the topic of courage aseand described by president kennedy's in courage."cs om ben? [applause] i was still trying to think doingwhat my kids were when they were freshmen. ib do not wante tongo there. prize is partly a college savings plan. he is joined by his parents and his brother. please stand?ily
now a word about ben's nominating teacher. every student who submits an essay is required to have a nominating teacher who provides guidance and support during the research and writing process. we call it editor's, and sometimes they are our worst enemies. they are invaluable. his teacher is essential to this. we rely on them to encourage students to participate in the contest and help them submit thoughtful, compelling, and well-written essays. we would like to a college sarah rosenthal who could not be here today because of family obligations. sarah will receive a john f. tonedy public service award encourage civic engagement. now i want to give thanks and a big round of applause to all of theirsay participants,
families, teachers, school administrators who made this program so successful this year. thank you very much. [applause] >> now it is my pleasure to theoduce jack schlossberg, son of caroline kennedy and the grandson of president kennedy. he just drove in after finishing can nowl exams, so he officially say he is a senior at yale. you know, some people after you take final exams, some students worry about what the results exames.-exams- ya when he is not writing op- eds, he writes for the yale "
herald," serves as an emt, and he is the newest member of the profile in courage award committee. like his grandfather, he is no shrinking violet. he left all of us know including the chair exactly what he thought about generational gaps and things in gender and diversely, and very big for my very helpful. [laughter] he has taken on his work with wisdom, with gusto. he is very fortunate willing to serve. ladies and gentlemen, it is my great privilege to introduce jack schlossberg, who will the 2014 profile in courage award recipient. thank you. >> thank you. if you ever want my criticism on
anything, you just give me the word and i will be happy to. on behalf of my family i join them in welcoming you today. my mother usually presents this award, and she would have loved to be here today, but she would to for being ariga here with us. this is been a proud day for my family, a day would come to celebrate my grandfather's memory, and to honor president kennedy's service. he once said that nation reveals thelf by the met in honors, men it remembers. he looked to the past two examples of men and women who made sacrifices for democratic ideals, human rights, scientific progress, and love of country, for guidance and inspiration as he welcome the challenges of his day. we honor his memory by giving this award. we celebrate courage today in a
moment of profound change and challenge in the world gripped by partisan inaction. all too often our political discourse punishes those who are brave enough to take for the taxes who forgo self interests and compromising for the greater good. a nation is always needed leaders to lead us toward top for as president kennedy wrote, it is on national issues, matters of conscience which challenge regional loyalties that the test of her age is -- of courage is presented. today we celebrate two courageous men. 2009, paul bridges knocked on the door when he ran for a mirror in georgia. georgia.r in he said he wanted to make his
town a more fair and prosperous place. 2011ced a tough choice in when the legislature passed a law that threatened the local farm economy and promised to separate undocumented parents, children, brothers, and sisters from their families. to offer is police officers demand citizenship documentation during routine traffic stops. it criminalized housing and transport of undocumented immigrants. it restricted access for people without legal immigration status. he realized it was separate families he knew, families that were part of the fabric of the communities, and he would no longer to give them a ride when they need them. you have to break with his party and with much of his constituency to oppose a law that he believed was unjust. ther bridges summoned currenourage. stand wasrinciple to
attacked by local and national the-immigration groups, town became an unlikely stage for the debate over national immigration reform. reelection became impossible. when his term ended, his commitment to reform did not, and despite his opponents'best efforts, he still calls his town is home. he wrote a man does what he must in spite of personal consequences, in spite of obstacles and dangers. that is the basis of all human morality. it is my honor to present the 2014 john f. kennedy profile courage award to john bridges.
>> good morning. people whohere with people like me only see about on television, it is incredible to be here. thank you very much for allowing me to be here. members of the john f. kennedy profiles encourage award committee, it is a privilege to be here with you. thank you for this moment. i want to thank my family and friends for being here in boston for the special day, and especially my partner rebecca, and my three wonderful, amazing children, paul, cameron, and leah. thank you for your support. i am humbled by this honor. i'm still in disbelief. have not quite recovered from
the shock of a young man called me on my cell phone telling me that he's president kennedy's grandson, and i will never forget the intense emotion of that moment when i realized the magnitude of what jack was offering me. to consider that a kennedy, a member of the family that my own family loved and cherished and admired and respected, called me forward to recognize me from es andtrue hero courageous people. it goes beyond my ability to comprehend, but i am here, jack. thank you. when president kennedy was inaugurated, and when he laid down the challenge for generations to follow when he said ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country. how incredible that me, the 10th 12,, born to dirt poor
farmers was chosen for this recognition. it just does not happen. we had a pot bellies dove in the kitchen. as a young child my daddy and my family farm our 55 acres withtw two mules. .e had a single milk cow [laughter] we did not have indoor plumbing or even running water. but we did have lively conversations. particularly, about politics. daddy was a southern democrat and complained that he would not do any good to vote because mama would be in the next booth. i was a member of our high school's first fully integrated graduating class. country'sive our
institutionalized racism. how fortunate that i have the experience them at the power, and the richness that comes with the diversity. it is good to know diverse city. in 1999, i met a person living in a trailer in the cotton field with a host of others, and working in the onion field and baling pine straw. we were instant friends and he remains my closest friend to this day. grandpa.est calls me his older daughter is with us. [applause] 13 years ago he moved to the united states with his wife, a daughter, and a son.
on their journey, they were held this side of the border with only the clothes on their backs. as a parent i cannot imagine the terror of traveling to the desert separated from your young children. me, ih my parents before understand the passionate desires to make a better life for my children and to make sure that they have a better education and better opportunities than i did. and that they are happy and free to be the very best that life offers to them. while i am honored to receive this award i know in my heart that it did not take courage to speak the truth. just a profound sense of injustice and a willingness to speak up in the knowledge that there are millions of others out there who feel the same way. this is all that i have really done, to speak up, to speak the truth about the unfairness of our current immigration system.
inas asked to run for mayor 2009. we completed three years of missing financial audits, installed new computer systems, and bought pewter. science and many other long do improvements. the townspeople revive the old time form testable, typical mayor stuff, and for two great years of was great. that was to change quickly. when the red states began passing their own so-called immigration laws, i could see prejudice rising its ugly head. georgia passed a law that created criminals out of ordinary people. grandparents who invited their own children's wife or husband into their homes could be subjected to a year in jail. a son driving his mother to the grocery store to become a felon. mixed family
suddenly found themselves contrary to the law. yes, i spoke out against the new law. it did not feel courageous for me to tell the truth. dhi said if you are a minority of one, the truth is the truth. after years of condemning the aclu -- [laughter] i must publicly apologize to them. [laughter] that i called because of its attack on our families would not have been overturned had it not been for this dedicated group of civil liberties organizations. along with the southern poverty law center. they now have my heart. attacksly, those continue. my state will not allow undocumented students to attend select universities. even if an honor graduate had
attended kindergarten through the 12th grade, in georgia and the student is undocumented, they have to pay out-of-state tuition. to not issuealk is birth certificates to the babies if their parents are undocumented. how can what i just say not jolted your conscience? there are two things i want to leave you with. irst, how profoundly grateful am that you bestowed this national honor, the nobel prize public service, on me. secondly, that we as a nation can no longer leave hard-working, family-oriented god fearing people to walk in the shadows or to live in the terror of losing a loved one to deportation. we must allow those who put food on every american dinner table the opportunity of upward movement.
we must find a way, and we must find a way now. we would have to repent in this generation, not merely for the vitriolic words and actions of the bad people, but for the appalling silence of the good people. again, i want to say thank you very much, and it is a plea see you and it is wonderful to be here. thank you. >> in 1990, america needed a
different kind of political courage. with a deficit that had tripled america last decade, needed responsible action from its leaders in washington. president george h w bush needed to get difficult choice in order to solve the problem. he would have to compromise with democrats and risk his political future. he had promised americans no new taxes during the presidential campaign two years earlier and was voted into office on a promise. he had also promised to serve his country, and he decided that was the promise he would keep. both parties compromise to pass the 1990 on a missed budget reconciliation act that raised taxes. the president who began the year with overwhelming national approval ratings ended it with far less support and became the target of attacks from both sides of the aisle. the budget deal enacted needed reforms at the expense of his
popularity and his chances for reelection. america's gains was president bush's loss. of amakes him the example modern profile in courage that is all too rare. we wish president bush could be with us today, but we are so happy that lauren bush lauren is here to accept the award on behalf of her grandfather. she is the chairman of the board of a foundation, an organization that raises funds for united nations world food program's efforts to feed schoolchildren around the world. the foundation with its partners has provided 60 million free meals to kids around the world. to inviterhonor lauren bush lauren to accept the john f. kennedy profile in courage award on behalf of her grandfather, george herbert
walker what shobush. [applause] thank you, jack. you, all, and it is such an honor for me and for my grandfather and for my whole family. i would like to start by reading a short message from my grandfather. my sincere thanks to the john f. kennedy library foundation and their selection committee for the decision they rendered that led to stay's proceed -- to today's proceedings. i hope the vote was not too close for the members [laughter] i recall how shortly after leaving the white house the school district board right used to live in texas decided to name a local elementary school after yours truly. after it passed by a landslide 3-2 vote -- [laughter]
twoas explained that the dissenting votes were based on the fact that we normally only name things after dead people. [laughter] 7/8, let me assure you your kind words mean a lot to me, and to receive this award that bears such an illustrious name means more than mere tongue can tell. i'm sorry i cannot be there in person, but a nasty rumor spread that your menu encompassed a deconstructed study in broccoli. [laughter] specialamely sense of a emissary to confront the floret s. thank you for remembering what our team tried to do those many years ago. one thing is sure. 7/8, iday at age 89 still have a zest for living.
most of you have seen his crazy socks. all come in all colors and patterns. more recently, there was even a youtube video of him grabbing to an mc hammer song. even if my grandfather is not sure what a homeboy is and he loves that video. to imagine how resident kennedy with his love of skinny ties and passion for life would have shown much of the same style and panache had he been given that lessing of old age. of course, we're here to recognize and celebrate a singular act of political courage. century ago, when politics and our world was different. i looked at the circumstances surrounding the 1990 budget the, and i was struck by challenges we're facing at that point in our history. that fall my grandfather sent ,000 troops halfway
around the world. meanwhile, he was helping to engineer the reunification of germany that october, and managed reforms that led to the peaceful end of the cold war. on top of that, he was also the second president elected to serve a full term in office without party control in either the senate or the house. that made progress, any progress, domestically, very difficult. candidly speaking, my grandfather did not want to but ourxes in 1990, constitutional system of governance says congress also gets a say. besides that, he felt he owed the american people action and results. compromise is a dirty word in washington today because we live in an age of the perpetual campaign. once we get back to realizing
the importance of actual governance, i suspect this too will pass. my grandfather wishes to join you in recognizing mayor bridges and congratulating him for his much deserved recognition thizs yes year. we can all hope his example of standing on principle will inspire more elected officials on both sides of the aisle. i suspect isnyone the symbolism of the grandson of a much admired president of the united states conferring a prestigious award that is being accepted by the granddaughter of another president. perhaps the fact that we are brought together in this way and on this day to celebrate the ideals of public service with this honor, perhaps, just maybe, the torch is once again being passed, not from family to family, but from generation to generation. in ours so much need
world, so much hurt and our world. it will take all of us to meet those challenges. but fortunately, we are lucky to have had and have leaders like john kennedy, like george bush, like barbara bush -- i have to include her or i will be in trouble -- [laughter] to inspire uses and help to lead us forward. on behalf of george h.w. bush and our entire family, i want to say thank you. thank you. [applause] >> just hearing are very speakers today reaffirms what president kennedy said, however
he single individual in our country and making difference. and we just saw the examples today, how every single individual can make a difference to our country. before we adjourn, i would like to ask ed schlossberg and rose jack on theto join stage and pose with a photo for bush bridges and lauren with their awards. remain seated until our honorees have left the room, and then we invite all of us to join our celebration at a reception in the lobby outside. thank you for being here today. this is a great aid for the library and for america. thank you very much. [applause]
[applause] >> to mark memorial today, president obama was at arlington national cemetery. that is next on c-span. then antiwar activists talk about the impact of war on civilians. antonin scalia spoke at william and mary law school, followed by terry mcauliffe at virginia tech, and later wisconsin governor scott walker. the second amendment is the most misunderstood part of the bill of rights.