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Jimmy Carter: Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Remarks Honoring Don Harris, Robert Brown, and Bill Stewart.
Jimmy
Jimmy Carter
Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Remarks Honoring Don Harris, Robert Brown, and Bill Stewart.
September 9, 1979
Public Papers of the Presidents
Jimmy Carter<br>1979: Book II
Jimmy Carter
1979: Book II
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Good evening.

Every citizen who carries into the world the standard of truth carries the banner for which this country stands.

For those who bring us the facts on which we make our judgments as a nation, pursuit of the truth is especially dangerous. Finding the center of the news was not only the profession of Don Harris, Robert Brown, and Bill Stewart-it was their passion. Their gift to us was knowledge.

They were killed by some who would suppress the truth and by others who were merely ignorant. But when all the dictators and all the fanatics have come and gone, it's always the truth which remains.

It is no accident that the root meaning of the word "martyr" is "to witness." In Guyana and Nicaragua, these three men were our witnesses, and they were our martyrs. For as they died in the service of a free press, they died in the service of us all.

In this moment of remembrance, even as we are repelled by the horror of their deaths, let us recall the service of their lives.

Whatever differences that might exist within our own country, let us join together tonight in honor of Don Harris, Robert Brown, Bill Stewart, and their families, by renewing our pledge to the standard which they upheld—our common faith as Americans that it is the truth which sets all people free.


Note: The President spoke at approximately 9:13 p.m. from the Oval Office at the White House. His remarks were broadcast live during the Academy's Emmy Awards program.

Don Harris and Robert Brown of NBC were killed in November 1978 by members of the People's Temple, while accompanying Representative Leo J. Ryan on his investigation of the People's Temple commune in Jonestown, Guyana.

ABC news correspondent Bill Stewart was killed in June 1979 while covering the civil war in Nicaragua.


Citation: Jimmy Carter: "Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Remarks Honoring Don Harris, Robert Brown, and Bill Stewart. ," September 9, 1979. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project. http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=31299.
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