“Tonight, there is a man standing here right beside me, and you and I can see him in our mind’s eye,” said Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, one of the Freedom Award recipients. “He’s a giant, in my mind, of American public life. He leads steadfastly, nothing can diminish him, he steadfastly represents the best of our country.”…

“His influence today is so deeply felt in this capital, as it is in villages and refugee camps … and places all around the world. We need to look no further than his work as an international statesman to see that he can surmount any obstacle,” Mattis said, later adding, “Everything I love about America is resident in this man, who denied cynicism and victimhood to be a role model for so many of us.”