Washington, DC – International Republican Institute (IRI) Chairman Senator Dan Sullivan and IRI President Daniel Twining released the following statements on the death of former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, a previous winner of IRI’s Freedom Award in 2009:
“Dr. Henry Kissinger lived a truly remarkable life, from his time as a Jewish refugee fleeing Nazi Germany, to serving in the U.S. Army during World War II, to becoming the chief diplomat of the most powerful country in the history of the world. Even at 100, Dr. Kissinger was still sharing his expertise and the historical context for today’s problems with the generations of leaders who’ve followed him, including in an outstanding book last year on leadership. On a personal level, Dr. Kissinger was incredibly generous with his time. I was honored to speak with him many times. Before I travelled to the Abraham Accords countries in the Middle East—Morocco, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Israel—I met with Dr. Kissinger to get his insights on regional security.
“Just five weeks ago, after the horrendous attacks by Hamas, I traveled to Israel, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia to meet with their leaders and had the opportunity before that trip to speak with Dr. Kissinger about not just the current challenges in the Middle East, but also about the analogies to 50 years ago when Israel suffered from another dangerous attack during the Yom Kippur War. Dr. Kissinger’s passing is an enormous loss for our country. We offer our gratitude for his decades of service to our country and his immeasurable contributions as a generational thinker and diplomat. I’m saddened by the loss of this great American who I learned much from.”
– IRI Chairman Senator Dan Sullivan
“Henry Kissinger is often labeled a realist, but he was deeply affected by the contest between liberty and tyranny, which animated his belief in American leadership. After fleeing Nazism as a teenager, he returned to Germany as a rifleman in the U.S. Army. Transitioning to Army intelligence, he visited liberated concentration camps and helped identify and interrogate Gestapo officers. As he put it, ‘I saw the impact of authoritarianism and totalitarianism in my youth… an experience which was so elemental that it becomes part of you.’ May he rest in peace.”
– IRI President Daniel TwiningTop