Honourary Citizenship Award for Winston Churchill

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Honorary Citizenship Award for Winston Churchill  (1963) 
by John F. Kennedy
President John F. Kennedy's remarks on the conferring on honarary U.S.A. citizenship upon Sir Winston Churchill, given at the White House, 9 April 1963.

We meet to honor a man whose honor requires no meeting — for he is the most honored and honorable man to walk the stage of human history in the time in which we live.

Whenever and wherever tyranny threatened, he has always championed liberty.

Facing firmly toward the future, he has never forgotten the past.

Serving six monarchs of his native Great Britain, he has served all men's freedom and dignity.

In the dark days and darker nights when Britain stood alone — and most men save Englishmen despaired of England's life — he mobilized the English language and sent it into battle. The incandescent quality of his words illuminated the courage of his countrymen.

Given unlimited powers by his citizens, he was ever vigilant to protect their rights.

Indifferent himself to danger, he wept over the sorrows of others.

A child of the House of Commons, he became in time its father.

Accustomed to the hardships of battle, he has no distaste for pleasure.

Now his stately Ship of Life, having weathered the severest storms of a troubled century, is anchored in tranquil waters, proof that courage and faith and the zest for freedom are truly indestructible. The record of his triumphant passage will inspire free hearts for all time.

By adding his name to our rolls, we mean to honor him — but his acceptance honors us far more. For no statement or proclamation can enrich his name — the name Sir Winston Churchill is already legend.

This work is in the public domain in the United States because it is a work of the United States federal government (see 17 U.S.C. 105).