WAMU 88.5 : News

Aung San Suu Kyi Honored During D.C. Trip

Play associated audio
Myanmar democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi, center, receives the Congressional Gold Medal from Speaker of the House John Boehner, at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Sept. 19, 2012.
Myanmar democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi, center, receives the Congressional Gold Medal from Speaker of the House John Boehner, at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Sept. 19, 2012.

Burmese democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi received the highest congressional honor in Washington last night — the Congressional Gold Medal. Members of Congress praised Suu Kyi's leadership and called her a "heroine," reports NBC News. Suu Kyi was actually awarded the medal in 2008, but was not able to travel to the U.S. to receive the award until this year.

She then visited American Unversity this morning to receive an honorary doctorate degree.

"When I see here people from Burma who have arrived over the years, I'm reminded that it is a great American tradition that they offer refuge to those who wish to live in peace with their own conscience," Suu Kyi said to a crowd of more than 1,000 Burmese gathered at AU's Bender Arena. "People who would have been prisoners of conscience in their own country can come here and be free." 

She knelt at the feet of two dozen buddhist monks before the crowd, who had come to see the woman who, for two decades, stood tall against Burma's ruling generals. 

In the crowd were children and adults who were children when the 1991 Nobel Peace Prize laureate was first placed under house arrest.

"We look up to her and we think that she's the rightful leader for our country," said one 12-year-old Burmese girl from North Carolina, who had traveled from North Carolina to see Suu Kyi. "And just having a chance to see her in real life is really exciting ... she is a hero."

"She is my hero," said another attendee, a Burmese woman who now lives in Falls Church. "And that's why I came over here... to listen to how she would motivate the whole Burmese community, and how she would deliver her speech."

Another gentlement acknowledged that when he was younger, he didn't think much about the impact Suu Kyi was having. "But now, after learning about her past and what she's been trying to do for the country, I'm all hers," she said. 

Suu Kyi aked the oversees Burmese community to play an active role in helping Burma rebuild its economy and continue its path towards a full deomcracy.

NPR

First-Time Nominations Reveal The Changing Face Of The Emmys

Cuba Gooding Jr., Rami Malek and Constance Zimmer all have one thing in common: this year is the first time each has been nominated for an Emmy. Their nominations hint at deeper changes in television.
NPR

Friendly, Delicious Rivalry Surrounding Jollof Rice

West Africa's signature dish is jollof, a rice entree to which many countries in the region lay claim. NPR's Ofeibea Quist Arcton explains the culinary wars.
NPR

Since 2012, The Economy Has Changed — And So Has The Conversation

Since the last presidential election, a growing economy has sent the unemployment rate plunging. That improvement has changed the political conversation, but it hasn't stopped worries about wages.
NPR

A Hero For The Arts And Sciences: Upcoming Marvel Covers Promote STEAM Fields

The five covers feature the company's heroes — including Spiderman, Iron Man, and the Hulk — all engaging in activities educators have been trying to promote.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.