April 28, 2014
WASHINGTON, DC—The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Elie Wiesel Award, the Museum’s highest honor, will be conferred on Lieutenant-General Roméo Dallaire, commander of the United Nations peacekeeping force in Rwanda in 1993–94, at the Museum’s annual National Tribute Dinner on Wednesday, April 30. Dallaire is being recognized for his valiant efforts to warn the world and prevent the Rwandan genocide and for his continued work as an outspoken advocate for genocide prevention. United States Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power will deliver keynote remarks. Also speaking will be Strive Masiyiwa, a member of the Museum’s Committee on Conscience, which oversees the Museum’s genocide prevention efforts.
Established in 2011, the award is named in honor of its inaugural recipient, Nobel Peace Laureate and Museum Founding Chairman Elie Wiesel. It is given annually to an internationally prominent individual whose actions have advanced the Museum’s vision of a world where people confront hatred, prevent genocide, and promote human dignity. Engraved on the award are words from Elie Wiesel’s Nobel speech, “One person of integrity can make a difference.” Previous recipients are Aung San Suu Kyi (2012); Władysław Bartoszewski (2013), as a representative of all rescuers during the Holocaust; and the veterans of World War II (2013).
“Lieutenant-General Dallaire displayed singular insight at a pivotal moment and did not allow the apathy of the world to deter him. His extraordinary moral and physical courage should inspire and challenge all of us,” said Museum Director Sara J. Bloomfield.
The Museum’s National Tribute Dinner will be held on Wednesday, April 30, at 7 p.m. at the Washington Marriott Wardman Park. The Dinner chairs are Shelley and Allan Holt. More than 850 people are expected to attend. The National Tribute Dinner will support the Museum’s campaign, “Never Again. What You Do Matters.” Led by honorary chair Elie Wiesel, the campaign will ensure that the Museum can keep Holocaust memory alive as a force for change in today’s world.
The dinner is part of the Museum’s annual congressionally mandated Days of Remembrance, during which it leads the nation in remembering the victims of the Holocaust. In addition to the Tribute Dinner, Days of Remembrance activities include a public names reading of Holocaust victims in the Museum’s Hall of Remembrance on April 30. Museum visitors and members of the community are invited to participate. Days of Remembrance observances will also take place in state houses, city halls, churches, and synagogues throughout the United States and at US military installations worldwide. Information on events at the Museum and around the country can be found at ushmm.org/remember/days-of-remembrance.
A living memorial to the Holocaust, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum inspires citizens and leaders worldwide to confront hatred, prevent genocide, and promote human dignity. Its far-reaching educational programs and global impact are made possible by the generosity of donors nationwide. For more information, visit ushmm.org.View All Museum News Releases