The people of Lesvos will be the first recipients of the John McCain Prize for Leadership in Public Service, in recognition of their hospitality to the thousands of refugees and migrants who landed on the island.
The inaugural John McCain Prize for Leadership in Public Service will be presented at the 10th annual Halifax International Security Forum on Saturday, November 17th, 2018, in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
The winner of the prize has been announced by Cindy McCain, wife of the late Senator John S. McCain.
“First and foremost, John McCain was a champion of human dignity. Supporting the plight of helpless men, women, and children is a cause my husband fought for every day of his life,” McCain said.
“In bestowing this prize upon the People of Lesvos, we recognize the sacrifices that so many ordinary people have made to bring safety, comfort, and hope to refugees enduring desperate hardship. It is my sincerest wish that this award will also serve to inspire others, wherever they may be in the world, to stand up for what is right,” she added.
Lesvos Mayor Spyros Galinos told the Athens-Macedonia News Agency that the prize is “an international acknowledgment of the sacrifice, courage and real solidarity of the people of Lesvos, who shook the international community with the way they responded to the unprecedented humanitarian crisis of 2015.”
Galinos added that the prize is not only for the people of the island, but reflects the attitude of all Greeks toward refugees. He also said that he will not go to the ceremony to receive the prize because it belongs to all residents of Lesvos.
Senator McCain led the yearly Congressional Delegation to Halifax International Security Forum, and was an avid supporter of its mission to strengthen strategic cooperation among the world’s democracies.
(With information from the Halifax International Security Forum)