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Harkin receives national peace, human rights award

Published: Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2013 10:58 a.m. CDT

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Council for a Livable World, Council for a Livable World’s PeacePAC and the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation awarded the Father Robert F. Drinan National Peace and Human Rights Award to Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA) and former Congressman Bob Edgar (D-PA). Rep. Edgar’s award was given posthumously and received by his wife, Merle Edgar.

“It is a pleasure to give this well-deserved award to Senator Harkin for his nearly four decades of work advocating for human rights in the U.S. Congress,” said Terry Lierman, the event chairman and member of Council for a Livable World and PeacePAC’s Boards of Directors. “Senator Harkin has been a tireless advocate and his retirement next year will leave a significant void in the halls of the Capitol.”

In selecting Sen. Harkin, the groups cited the Senator’s efforts to increase the health and wellness of all Americans, to improve the nation’s education system and tireless advocacy for working families. Moreover, the Senator was active on national security issues even before his first election to Congress.

“Bob Edgar was a triathlon champ,” said David Cohen, former president of Common Cause and senior Congressional Fellow at Council for a Livable World. “It is so fitting that Bob receives the Drinan award. Like Father Bob Drinan, Bob passionately connected peace, social justice, the social gospel and action.”

In selecting Congressman Edgar, the groups cited his opposition to the Iraq War, advocacy for nuclear arms control and support of American veterans. They also cited his efforts on environmental reform, poverty eradication, reducing wasteful government spending and defense of civil rights. The National Journal once called Rep. Edgar the real-life version of Frank Capra’s Mr. Smith from the iconic Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. 

The Father Robert F. Drinan National Peace and Human Rights Award is given annually to individuals “who exemplify Father Drinan’s commitment to peace and human justice.” It was established in 2005 in honor of Father Drinan, the former chairman of PeacePAC and first Catholic priest elected to Congress.  Father Drinan served in Congress for 10 years as a Congressman from Massachusetts.

The awards were given in a ceremony at the Frederick Douglass Museum in Washington, D.C.

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