NATO receives Knight of Freedom award
On 3 October 2023, during the Warsaw Security Forum, the Chair of the NATO Military Committee, Admiral Bauer accepted the Knight of Freedom award – one of Poland’s most important foreign policy and human rights award – on behalf of the Alliance.
On behalf of the Alliance, the Chair of the NATO Military Committee, Admiral Bauer attended this year’s edition of the Knight of Freedom award ceremony, where NATO was recognised for its role in promoting peace and security in Europe; for its strong Collective Defence; and for its efforts in cooperative security, especially with regards to its ongoing support of Ukraine.
After a moving laudation delivered by Mr Jacek Siewiera, National Security Advisor to the President of Poland, Admiral Bauer took the stage to receive the award on behalf of NATO. In his response, he highlighted the work done by the 3.2 million men and women in uniform across the Alliance. The Chair commended their sense of duty and their devotion to putting the collective above the individual.
He continued by noting that “it is not a coincidence that NATO is receiving this award at a time when the rules-based international order is being challenged. At a time when authoritarian regimes are desperately trying to portray an image of strength to the world. At a time where global security threats are multiplying. And our values are under attack. We need a shield against aggression more than ever. Together, we are protecting much more than physical safety. We are protecting freedom, democracy and the sovereign rights of nations and people to determine their own destiny. NATO thanks you for the recognition of its work. And we will do our utmost to live up to the trust you have placed in us”.
The evening concluded with a Military Sunset Ceremony performed by the British Army and members of its marching band, with a beautiful rendition of the NATO anthem.
Established in 2005, the Knight of Freedom award (Polish: Rycerz Wolności) is an international recognised award conferred annually to "outstanding figures, who promote the values represented by General Casimir Pulaski: freedom, justice, and democracy". Past recipients have included Olena Zelenska, Alexei Navalny, Dalia Grybauskaitė, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, and Mary Robinson.