"A true defender of justice and human rights."
Those were the words used by Minister of Foreign Affairs Maxime Verhagen to describe his American counterpart Hillary Clinton at the presentation of the Four Freedoms Award in New York.
He praised the Secretary of State for her tireless commitment to human rights saying, "The universality of human rights is being challenged on many fronts. Our response should be to stand together in support of these fundamental rights. Our countries, and you and I personally, have worked together well to this end…."
The Four Freedoms award takes its inspiration from the four freedoms articulated by President Franklin Roosevelt: freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom from want and freedom from fear. He regarded these freedoms as the basis for human rights around the world. Read more about the award at my previous post here!
We all know this is a huge honor for Hillary, as she admires the Roosevelts, especially Eleanor. This award would be like me getting an Hillary Clinton award, for being as awesome and amazing as Hillary. I would be totally honored!
Here is an excerpt of her remarks during the ceremony:
I am an admirer, I think as we all are, of both of these great Americans. As some of you might remember, I used to have imaginary conversations with Eleanor. (Laughter.) And she gave me a lot of really good advice. (Laughter.) I often remarked about how there was nothing I did as First Lady that Eleanor had not already done. I would go to a place in New York or a place in India, and be greeted by some excited person saying, “Oh, we haven’t had a First Lady here since Eleanor Roosevelt.” I discovered that she had blazed trails that were not only unique for her time, but really stood the test of time. But when she visited, it was not just a simple drop-in. She would listen, she would learn, she would bring that information back to her husband, and she would continue to push for the kinds of changes that were absolutely necessary.Read her full remarks here.
And of course, President Roosevelt and the Four Freedoms speech and the declaration, the real call to action that what he said still resonates through the years, shaped much of the work that Eleanor did on her own as she chaired the drafting committee for the United Nation’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights, a document that enshrines the Four Freedoms in its preamble. So when leaders from around the world gather for the UN’s General Assembly in about ten days, we will do so in part as inheritors of her work and wisdom.
Also, just thought I'd throw this little bit in... Here is an article from the NY Times from June of 1996 about Hillary's said "conversations" with Eleanor. The article is basically saying that Hillary is NOT crazy or insane for having imaginary conversations with Eleanor, that she is simply participating in "intellectual exercises." Hey, po-tay-to po-tah-to, one woman's intellectual exercises are another's schizophrenic outbursts... heh just kidding.