Svetlana Broz 2013

Respected laureates, excellencies, youth from the region, and dear friends from Croatia, Montenegro, Serbia, and Bosnia-Herzegovina.

I am delighted that you are here with us today. I would like to say a few important words of thanks.

Thank you, laureates, for existing. Without you life would have no meaning.

Thank you, members of the jury, some of whom confessed that never in their lives had they had been faced with a more challenging task.

Thank you, young people from the region, here you will make the acquaintance of the finest among us.

I am certain that each of us has within us the potential for the kind of civil courage that our honorees have shown.

Today you will see how civil courage comes about and I trust that you will realize that you, too, can muster courage as you strive for a life of dignity in the society in which you live.

My thanks, as well, to all those who have done all they could to prevent us from gathering here today. Their efforts merely serve to show just how powerful and unstoppable are the truth and civil courage.

My thanks to the Gariwo NGO team that spent an entire year preparing for today's ceremony.

And my thanks to all of the friends who have supported us, our partners from the Helsinki Committee for Human Rights in Serbia, and our tried and true friend Lazar Stojanović.

I hope that when you leave here you will take away with you an experience that will be with you forever and motivate you as you make the most noble decisions.

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