From the Worldwide Faith News archives

Hamilton Fish Receives Larsen Award

Date 21 May 1996 14:10:32

News from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

May 21, 1996


"When we display generosity toward persons escaping
persecution, we not only express our compassion as a
nation but also advance the foreign policy interest of the
United States, set an example for other countries and
reaffirm our commitment to individual freedom."  With
these words Mary Ann Fish accepted the Donald H.
Larsen Award on behalf of her husband, Hamilton Fish Jr.,
retired U.S. Representative from New York.  She read
the speech her husband had prepared but was unable to
give due to illness.  The Larsen Award is the highest honor
the Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services (LIRS)
bestows for "protecting human rights and well-being,
building community between newcomers and their
neighbors and promoting the inherent dignity of all
members of the human family."  Fish said, "I am very
honored to receive this award named in memory of
Donald Larsen, because his endeavors on behalf of
refugees -- over many years -- helped to shape a generous
and humane American response to the plight of persecuted
people."  Larsen had been head of LIRS and its
predecessor organizations from 1964 until his death in
1990.  Fish retired in 1995 after 26 years in the U.S.
House, all of them on the Judiciary Committee, including
service as ranking Republican on the immigration
subcommittee.  The award was given May 2, during the
LIRS annual meeting in Alexandria, Va.  "Your work with
the Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services continues
to play a critical role in preventing the erosion of support
for the legal immigration and refugee policies of the United
States," said Fish.  LIRS also gave Salt of the Earth
Awards to Luther Anderson, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; My
Do, Fargo, N.D.; and Ruth Longenecker, Rheems, Pa.
LIRS is a joint ministry of the Evangelical Lutheran Church
in America, Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod and Latvian
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

[ELCA News and Information: 8765 W. Higgins Road,
Chicago, IL   60631; phone 312/380-2958.

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