Skip to comments.Robertson Awarded America's Highest Honour
Posted on 11/12/2003 1:16:42 PM PST by knighthawk
President George Bush awarded Americas highest civilian honour today to retiring NATO secretary-general Lord Robertson, a man he called a patient and determined statesman.
Lord Robertson, who has overseen the alliance through its largest expansion in history, grinned as he held the Presidential Medal of Freedom that Bush gave him during a ceremony in the Roosevelt Room of the White House.
Lord Robertson is a patient leader, a determined leader, and over the past four years, his skills and talents have made many achievements possible, Bush said.
He said Robertson had helped open a new chapter in NATOs relationship with Russia through the creation of the Russian-NATO council and had worked to ensure that NATO forces were lighter and faster to respond to modern crises.
America owes a special debt to Robertson, he said, because after the September 11, 2001 attacks on America, he led NATO to invoke, for the fist time in its history, Article 5, which states that an attack against one NATO ally is an attack against all.
His tenure at the helm of this institution shows the power of collective defence when free nations act to serve great causes, and free nations act to produce results, Bush said.
Robertson, who is stepping down from the post in December, will be succeeded by Dutch Foreign Minister Jaap de Hoop Scheffer on January 1.
Let's make sure we never forget them.