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Profile in Courage awards honor commitments to protecting democracy


Notice: Transcripts are machine and human generated and lightly edited for accuracy. They may contain errors.

Judy Woodruff: The annual Profile in Courage Award ceremony took place last night at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library in Boston.

This year, the Kennedy family honored Democrats and Republicans for upholding election integrity and the president of Ukraine. I was there for a most inspiring night.

The John F. Kennedy Library Foundation honored five people with a Profile in Courage Award for their commitment to protecting democracy in the U.S. and around the globe.

The first honoree, Shaye Moss, was an election office worker in Fulton County, Georgia. She withstood relentless harassment and even death threats during and ever since the 2020 presidential election.

Wandrea' Arshaye Moss, Former Fulton County, Georgia, Elections Department Employee: Ever since December 2020, my family has been under attack, attacked because people have spread terrible lies -- I'm sorry -- lies about me and my mother simply because we were doing our jobs, doing the work our democracy requires day in and day out.

My mom and I have both heard the worst kinds of threats and harassment. Many of those were just openly racist.

I want to give a special thank you to all the anonymous election workers out there, the ones that are doing the heavy lifting our democracy depends on, far from the spotlights.


Judy Woodruff: Two other U.S. officials were also honored for defending and protecting election results, Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, a Democrat, and Arizona State House Speaker Rusty Bowers, a Republican.

In the face of nonstop attacks from her own party, Republican Congresswoman Liz Cheney was honored for her courage in standing against calls to overturn the 2020 election.

Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY): President Kennedy said, in the long history of freedom, only a few generations have been granted the role of defending freedom in its hour of maximum danger.

Today, that role is ours, as we face the threat we have never faced before, a former president attempting to unravel our constitutional republic. At this moment, we must all summon the courage to stand against that.

The question for every one of us is, in this time of testing, will we do our duty? Will we defend our Constitution? Will we stand for truth? Will we put duty to our oath above partisan politics? Or will we look away from danger, ignore the threats, embrace the lies, and enable the liar?

Judy Woodruff: The final award of the night went to Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy for his leadership and bravery in defending his country against Russia's invasion. A Ukrainian diplomat accepted on his behalf.

And that diplomat, Yaroslav Brisiuck, drew applause when he noted that Vladimir Putin had originally bragged he was sending the world's second best army into the war, but it ended up, he said, that it was only the second best army in Ukraine.

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