The letters of gratitude have been presented to 17 people for saving the lives of others and for helping children, people with disabilities and homeless.
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President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev: Hello everyone,
Friends, it is a great pleasure to see you all, and to hear you, as much as this hall permits. I have just one reason for being here today, and that is to say thank you to the huge number of young people who help others, work as volunteers, help out in very difficult circumstances in life, and look after people with disabilities and the elderly.
These are all everyday things it would seem, ordinary things, but to be honest, not everyone is capable of them. It really makes me very happy to see that people who still have everything ahead willingly engage in this difficult and sometimes thankless work. It is my job as President to recognise these efforts and say a tremendous thanks to you all.
Let’s move on without delay to the best part. I want to personally welcome those who have received these letters of gratitude, which, incidentally, are not just any old gesture, but have the status of state decorations.
It is a real pleasure to meet people who seem to be no different to any other young people, but who turn out to have a pro-active attitude that distinguishes them from most others, who are not afraid of difficulties, do not flinch, do not panic, and even do not simply point their finger at the state authorities and say, “the government’s awful and doesn’t work, and so we’re not going to do anything either.” Instead, you take an active stand, and it is my hope that you will always remain this way.
It does not matter in which area you make your stand. It could be among the ill, among those who suffer from the scourges of drugs and other types of dependence that, sadly, have spread wide throughout our country. It could be in helping our pets. It is this willingness to get involved that distinguishes all of you.
It is not about getting some kind of recognition from the authorities. Of course such recognition is always nice, and anyone who says it is unwelcome is probably lying, but even without this recognition you would continue doing what you are doing now, continue your volunteer efforts, continue to write frank and honest reports and articles and defend the rights of the downtrodden, those with problems, those whose lot is not so happy. This is your credo in life, and I want to say a huge thank you for this, because it is precisely people like yourselves who will build our future.
What kind of future will this be? It is the future, the foundations of which we are laying together right now. It will change and take shape through your actions too, through the work we do together, and through your active and involved position. All of you here are people who are not indifferent, people who want to make a change in our country with your own hands. I hope that we will all continue these efforts over the coming years, because have no doubt about it, everything depends on us all together.
Thank you very much. I congratulate sincerely everyone who received these letters of gratitude today. May you always stay so youthful, radiant, and active.
And let me finish by saying once more that the future is indeed ours.