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Kennedy Society of Denmark
Purpose: Keeping alive John F. and Robert F. Kennedy’s inspiration
and philosophy of life, so that their good words can be translated into good deeds.

Profiles in Courage Award, 2021


For the year 2021 the Kennedy Society has decided to award John F. Kennedy's book "Profiles in Courage" to the world's brave nurses at the International Council of Nurses (ICN). The award is given for the courage shown by the nurses as healthcare professionals in their work - especially during the Covid- 19-pandemic.

The nurses have through their daily actions in their work - by their professional skill and empathy - saved human lives, and have relieved their patients' pain and given their patients care and comfort. The nurses who have bravely been at the forefront of the fight against the Covid-19-pandemic have thereby risked their own lives and health. This effort is fully in line with the Kennedy brothers' efforts for better health care for all people, regardless of social status. The world's brave nurses can be seen as a modern peace corps, founded by President John F. Kennedy on February 23, 1961, in his fight for a more fair world.

The efforts of the nurses who have shown a sense of duty to their patients are fully in line with the words of John F. Kennedy in his inaugural address as President on January 20, 1961: "Ask not what your country can do for you- ask what you can do for your country." The efforts and deeds of the brave nurses also correspond to the words of John F. Kennedy when he accepted the nomination as the democratic candidate for president on July 15, 1960 in Los Angeles:

"We are not here to curse the darkness, but to turn on the light that can show us the way through the darkness to a safer and healthier future."

The courage shown among the world's nurses during the Covid-19-pandemic is similar to the courage that John F. Kennedy mentioned in his book about the courage to live: A human being "does what he must in spite of personal consequences, in spite of obstacles and dangers and pressure - that is the basis of all human morality."

The courageous efforts of the nurses are in line with Robert F. Kennedy's words on April 4, 1968 - just after the assassination of Martin Luther King: "What we need is love and wisdom and compassion toward one another."