Videoboodschap Koning ten behoeve van online uitreiking uitgestelde Four Freedoms Awards 2020

De videoboodschap is uitgesproken in het Engels.

Looking at the winners of these Four Freedoms Awards, I see organizations and individuals that have something in common. They are not afraid to walk a difficult path.

It’s as if they actually search for what is challenging and risky. They consciously seek out people caught up in a bad situation. They look for the painful spots and the problems that seem too difficult to solve.

In doing so, they are teaching us that freedom is neither comfortable nor simple. That freedom is not a carefree possession. And that freedom is not just a license to ‘do your own thing’ without consequence.

Eighty years ago, President Roosevelt  delivered that same message to his country and to the world. During a period dominated by war and terror, he had the vision and courage to name four types of freedom which applied to each and every one of us. Great sacrifices have been made to protect these four freedoms, right up until today, both close to home and far away.

In the course of the past year, we have all experienced how complex freedom actually is. The corona pandemic has forced us to give up certain pieces of our own freedom. We have been doing so out of our own free will and for the common cause. It’s all about protecting our health and that of the people around us. Nonetheless….it’s certainly not easy. Both our patience and endurance are being tested to the limit. That can make us either tired and down-hearted, or downright rebellious and angry. 

The winners of the Four Freedoms Awards can provide us with hope and inspiration to get through this difficult time. They are setting an example to all of us. Let us boldly state our opinions without frightening or intimidating others. Let us find solace in our beliefs without discriminating our fellow citizens. Let us work on economic recovery without forgetting those who are struggling more than ourselves.

And above all: let us not tolerate the corona pandemic being used as an excuse to restrict  fundamental freedom and human rights anywhere in the world.

May I congratulate all the winners of the Four Freedoms Awards. We are grateful for your courageous dedication and hard work for our freedom, in all its facets. Your work is more relevant than ever. I wish you all every success!