Introduction Speech
By LT General Ray Crabbe

Ladies and gentlemen, the name Peter Nygård is synonymous with fashion. Indeed it is synonymous throughout the world with leadership in fashion. Peter has long been recognized as a truly outstanding Winnipegger and Canadian who has dared to be brave and to be on the cutting edge in an industry where boldness & risk-taking are trademarks of success.

When the tragic events of SEPT11 occurred, Peter Nygård demonstrated that same boldness, daring & leadership in another way by being one of the very first prominent Canadians to publicly & without hesitation, demonstrate his genuine & sincere support for our American allies. He mobilized his entire corporation worldwide to demonstrate solidarity & unequivocal loyalty & patriotism from Canadians & from Nygård International employees in the many nations in which his firm is located.

Here in Winnipeg, I think it is fair to say, that Nygård International led the way in reassuring our American friends of Canada's commitment that we would indeed stand shoulder to shoulder, that we would help a friend in need at a time of great difficulty and that we would not stand by and allow these heinous crimes against humanity to go unpunished. This outward display of support was perhaps most prominently demonstrated on Nygård's plant with the appearance of a building sized crossed American & Canadian flags and the symbol of unity that they represented. This act of outward support was repeated throughout the world in such countries as Mexico, China, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Korea, Indonesia and Hong Kong. Posters were erected inside the same plants & throughout the world as a sense of pride & commitment was firmly established by Nygård International employees with this unabashed and sincere support for a neighbour in need of support.

In addition to this outward demonstration of support Peter Nygård established a web-site on the internet dedicated to the over 3000 victims and heroes of the SEPT11 attacks, including 25 Canadians. This web-site has had millions of hits, which illustrates the tremendous response for such an act of support by Nygård International. The firm has sent out over 2 million emails around the world, translated into Spanish & French, in support of the US and have received hundreds of thousands of replies, many from world leaders & dignitaries, including George Bush Sr.

Peter Nygård's personal support for the victims of the tragedy & his support for the American people at a time of great need & understanding has been relentless. His strong Canadian roots & his love of freedom, liberty & the democratic way of life, together with this notable & outstanding support for our American allies, has earned him unique recognition. As he said on the We Stand United web-site:

"We at Nygård are proud to be America's neighbour & best friends. We are appreciative of everything that the United States of America has done for this world…WE Stand United with America. We will not tolerate terrorism".

And for this rare and courageous stance for our American allies, the Royal Military Institute of Manitoba takes great pride in acknowledging Peter Nygård & Nygård International as a recipient of the Patriot Award for 2002.

I would ask Peter Nygård, Founder & Chairman of Nygård International to come forward to accept this award from the President of the Institute, LT General Ray Crabbe.



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