The Profiles in Courage Award 1994.

The Kennedy Society has decided that in 1994 John F. Kennedy’s book “Profiles in Courage” should be awarded with good reason, to the Danish convoy-drivers to former Yugoslavia. At risk of life and limb they voluntary drove through war conditions to take food and medicine to suffering and besieged minorities in former Yugoslavia. Thus they have contributed to keeping open the possibility that the United Nations can be developed into an instrument for one international legal system.
During the last 14 years the Kennedy Society has decided year after year to give this prize to people of courage always with well documented reasons for the choice being given at the time of the award. This year we in the Kennedy Society decided that the prize should be given to these convoy-drivers – on one who represents them all – because they portray the courage and effort which are so necessary in a world that suffers from lack of courage in the interests of justice and peace. What they have done and are doing, is to strengthen the hope, which is expressed in the United Nations Charter. This hope corresponds exactly to the Kennedy brothers’ philosophy of life.
In his book “Profiles in Courage” John F. Kennedy threw light on the courage of eight prominent Americans; he also wrote in the last chapter of the book: “Not only do the problems of courage and conscience concern every officeholder in our land…” and he added: “A man does what he must – inspite of personal consequences, inspite of obstacles and dangers and pressures.”
The convoy-drivers’ contribution also corresponds to what Jacqueline Kennedy said about her husband’s philosophy of life. In the booklet for the Kennedy Memorial Exhibition in 1964 in Copenhagen, she wrote: “John Kennedy believed so strongly that one’s aim should not just be the most comfortable life possible – but that we should all do something to right the wrongs we see – and not just complain about them. We owe that to our country, and our country will suffer if we don’t serve her. He believed that one man can make a difference – and that every man should try.”
Similarly, 30 years ago, citing Bonar Law’s words: “There is no such thing as inevitable war. If war comes it will be from failure of human wisdom.” Robert F. Kennedy wrote a foreword to his brother’s book, “Profiles in Courage”: “If there is a lesson from the lives of the men John Kennedy depicts in his book, if there is a lesson from his life and from his death, it is that in this world of our none of us can afford to be lookers-on, critics standing on the sidelines.”