Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) on Thursday were named as recipients of the 2022 John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award, which is being bestowed for “their courage to protect and defend democracy.”
On its website, the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation praised Zelenskyy for his “courageous defense of democratic ideals and political independence,” adding, “His principled leadership has strengthened the resolve of Ukrainians and people around the globe to protect and defend the fragile human right of self-determination.”
As for Cheney, she “remains a consistent and courageous voice in defense of democracy” and “stood her ground with honor and conviction” when it came to former President Donald Trump’s efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 election, the foundation noted.
The foundation also named three other honorees, the first time it has done so. They are Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson (D), Arizona House Speaker Russell “Rusty” Bowers (R) and Wandrea “Shaye” Moss, an election department employee in Georgia’s Fulton County. Like Cheney, each was acknowledged for having stood up to pressure from Trump when it came to his baseless allegations of election fraud.
Calling the award a “tremendous honor,” Cheney described the world as being in a state of “maximum danger in the cause of freedom.”
“President Zelenskyy and the Ukrainian people are teaching a new generation of Americans what our founding fathers learned first-hand: absolute and uncompromising courage in the face of tyranny,” she wrote in a statement issued Thursday. “In America, we have also seen how fragile our democratic institutions can be, and we have learned that they do not defend themselves.”
“We ― each one of us ― must do that,” she added.
The Profile in Courage Award was established in 1989 to recognize public officials “whose actions demonstrate the qualities of politically courageous leadership.” It takes its name from Kennedy’s 1956 book describing acts of bravery and integrity by eight U.S. senators.
Winners are selected annually by a bipartisan committee. Last year’s recipient was Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah), who was acknowledged for his “courageous” vote to impeach Trump for abuse of power. Other past recipients include House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and former presidents Barack Obama and George H.W. Bush.
This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.