Five people were honored Friday with Freedom Awards at the Mayor's Gala and Ball, which opened America's Freedom Festival , Provo's annual July 4 celebration.
"Freedom is so precious, we must celebrate it and guard it and protect it," said award recipient Arch L. Madsen, who was on the board of directors of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.Award recipient Kresmir Cosic, deputy ambassador from Croatia, said people shouldn't just talk about freedom but should try to ensure the liberty of others through their actions.
Carol Forrest, also honored, did just that when she left the teaching profession to be a physician's assistant in Africa. Forrest served for five months in Somalia as a relief worker.
Another honoree, Paul Cox, also gave up the comforts of home to pursue freedom from oppression and disease for others. Cox, an ethnobotanist, helped preserve thousands of acres of tropical forest in Western and American Samoa while he studied medically beneficial plants, one of which may help fight the HIV virus.
Also honored with an award was retired Col. Gail S. Halvorson, who dropped candy from his plane to young Berliners during World War II.