Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers receives JFK Profile in Courage Award

May 23, 2022, 3:00 PM

PHOENIX – Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers picked up his John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award during a ceremony in Boston on Sunday night, calling the honor “deeply humbling.”

Bowers, a Republican, was chosen for standing up to pressure from within his party to overturn President Joe Biden’s victory in the state over Donald Trump in the 2020 election.

“These acts should not be noteworthy, nor should they be praiseworthy,” Bowers said during his acceptance speech at the John F. Kennedy Library and Museum. “These decisions are the least that the people should expect of those to whom they entrust the power to choose for them.”

Bowers was one of five recipients, including Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, for this year’s Profile in Courage Awards. Ukrainian diplomat Yaroslav Brisiuck was on hand to accept the honor on Zelenskyy’s behalf.

Republican U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney of Wisconsin, Democratic Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, and Shaye Moss, an elections employee in Fulton County, Georgia, were the other recipients.

The JFK Library Foundation created the Profile in Courage Awards in 1989 and presents them each year “to public servants who have made courageous decisions of conscience without regard for the personal or professional consequences.”

Bowers started his speech with a tribute to Zelenskyy and the people he leads for their response to the ongoing Russian invasion.

“In the steadfast defense of their homeland, President Zelenskyy and the Ukrainian people set an example of courage and fearlessness in the face of evil unequaled in today’s world,” Bowers said.

“To be honored in their company is deeply humbling.”

Bowers concluded his remarks with a touching tribute his daughter, Kacey Rae Bowers, who succumbed to a terminal illness at age 42 on Jan. 28, 2021.

“My friends, may God grant us courage and strength in the challenges ahead,” he said. “May we one and all determine to meet these trials with Kacey’s grit and grace and faith.”

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