Ronald Reagan has been honored with a national peace medal for his role in nuclear arms reduction.

Reagan received the Spark M. Matsunaga Medal of Peace on Thursday from the United States Institute of Peace. He shares the spotlight with Jimmy Carter, who received his award last month.The institute commended Reagan for his work in limiting nuclear weapons, supporting the independent trade union movement in Poland and backing the Helsinki human rights process.

"While I am thankful to have played some role in igniting the fires of freedom, the American people are the true champions of peace, democracy, and human dignity," the former president said.

The award was established by Congress in 1990 in honor of Matsunaga, a U.S. senator from Hawaii and longtime proponent of peace education.