Abu Ghraib MP gets Profile in Courage award
BOSTON - A Special John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award was presented to Sgt. Joseph Darby May 16 at the JFK Presidential Library and Museum in Boston.
Darby was presented the award for respecting the "rule of law" and turning photographs over to Army investigators depicting humiliation of Iraqi detainees at Abu Ghraib. Darby is a member of the 372nd Military Police Company, an Army Reserve unit from Western Maryland that served in Iraq for 18 months.
"My father most admired those in public life who had the courage to make decisions of conscience without regard for the consequences," said Caroline Kennedy, president of the JFK Library Foundation. She presented the annual John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Awards to Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin and Former Texas State Senator Bill Ratliff for their bipartisan government leadership before giving Darby the special award.
"Our nation is also indebted to U.S. Army Sergeant Joseph Darby who, despite great personal risk, stood up for the rule of law and exposed the torture and scandal in Iraq," Kennedy said. "In a time when politics and government have been marked by incivility and partisanship, these individuals have distinguished themselves by their political and moral courage and by their vision of what was right for the country."
"This year's winners continue to remind us that courageous individuals, acting on principle, can make an extraordinary difference for their communities and our country," said Sen. Edward M. Kennedy. "In this era of intense partisan divisions, it is most heartening and inspiring to pay tribute to the political courage of Mayor Franklin, Senator Ratliff, and Sergeant Darby, who chose first and foremost to act for the good of their community and country. President Kennedy would be proud of them."
Presented annually to public servants who have made courageous decisions of conscience without regard for the personal or political consequences, the award is named for President Kennedy's 1957 Pulitzer-Prize-winning book, Profiles in Courage.
The book recounts the stories of eight U.S. senators in American history who withstood strong opposition and risked their careers to fight for what they believed was the right course of action.
Described by one recipient as the "Nobel in government," the Profile in Courage Award is accompanied by a sterling-silver lantern representing a beacon of hope. The lantern was designed by Edwin Schlossberg and crafted by Tiffany and Co.
Special Profile in Courage Awards have been presented to the Irish Peacemakers, eight political leaders of Northern Ireland and the American chairman of the peace talks, in recognition of the extraordinary political courage they demonstrated in negotiating the historic Good Friday Peace Agreement; and America's public servants who demonstrated courage and heroism in response to the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
Editor's note: Information provided by a release from the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library Foundation.
Col. Brian P. Foley
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