His Serene Highness, Prince Albert II of Monaco, was presented the Ellis Island medal of honor award today in New York City, upon the iniative of TPQ's publisher, Kemal Koprulu. The Ellis Island Medals of Honor which are presented annually to a select group of individuals whose accomplishments in their field and inspired service to America are cause for celebration. The Medal has been officially recognized by both Houses of Congress as one of our nation’s most prestigious awards and is annually memorialized in the Congressional Record.
Check below for the Prince's Remarks and view the following link to read Prince Albert's former article for TPQ:
Members of the Board,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Dear Friends of the Ellis Island Honors’ Society,
First of all I would like to thank you most sincerely for your kind words which touch me deeply. They touch me deeply because they reinforce my belief that my actions over the years have been useful, those I support as Head of State of the Principality of Monaco; initiatives that I have launched through my Foundation or my individual and personal actions in favour of the environment and humanity. However, your words also touch me deeply because they originate from those in the Ellis Island Honors’ Society who have awarded me this Medal of Honor. I know that this medal has been officially recognised by both Houses of Congress as one of the most prestigious awards in the United States and I am therefore extremely proud to receive it from you today. I am also very proud because of the family ties which, as you know, I have with the United States of America through my ancestors. For me, receiving it is also a tribute to them.
Although my Irish ancestors Kelly and Costello arrived on American soil before the opening of Ellis Island and Carl Majer and Margaretha Berg also arrived in the United States before 1892, I cannot help but remember the story of all these immigrants braving the risks of a crossing and their passage through Ellis Island, in search of a better life and a land of freedom, even as today the world is still faced with a number of population displacements. This is the reason why there is one absolute imperative that I wish never to abandon and that is to act according to values of otherness and solidarity.
This Medal is a measure of the importance of the actions which are being undertaken in a spirit of tolerance, fraternity and respectful of differences. Also, you should know that as a recipient of this Medal, I intend to continue my actions in this spirit in order to remain worthy of the confidence you have shown in me. I will be unable to be present at the Gala evening that you have organised for the ceremony and presentation of the medals but my thoughts will be with those recipients that you are honouring.