‘It consoles me that, despite not having a revolutionary certificate in Romania, there is someone in the world acknowledging the role and spirit of the city of Timisoara in the downfall of the Ceausescu communist regime and the starting off of democratic changes in Romania,’ Tokes told a news conference on Thursday.
The Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation, a non-profit educational organisation, was established by a 1993 Act of Congress to build a memorial in Washington, D.C. to commemorate the more than 100 million victims of communism.
The act was signed into law by then US President Bill Clinton.
The foundation created the Truman-Reagan Freedom Medal to reward people and organisations which have proved their commitment to the ideas of freedom and democracy all along their life or activity, as well as commitment to the fight against any forms of tyranny or communism.
The foundation remarks that Tokes Lszlo has been a staunch supporter of freedom and democracy in the world and played an important part in the downfall of communism in Romania in 1989.
In his response to the foundation, Tokes thanks for this gesture of acknowledging those who have never abandoned the fight for true democracy and freedom on their native land. He also pointed to the blessed memory of hundreds of martyrs that were killed during the December 1989 Revolution in Romania.
The other two winners of this year’s award are US House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer and late Jack Kemp, a 1996 Republican presidential candidate.
Among the previous recipients of the Freedom Medal are Vaclav Havel, Lech Walesa, Elena Bonner, Pope John Paul II, Joseph Lieberman, Jesse Helms, Henry M. Jackson, Lane Kirkland and Michael Novak.