May 2, 1981
I am pleased to add my congratulations to Academician Andrei Sakharov on the occasion of his 60th birthday. Sakharov is one of the true spiritual heroes of our time. An outstanding scientist whose position insured him all the security and comfort he might desire, he was willing to risk all to speak out on behalf of human rights and freedom. He persisted in this mission even after being subjected to increasingly harsh penalties.
Mr. Sakharov is a Russian patriot in the best sense of the word because he perceived his peoples' greatness to lie not in militarism and conquests abroad but in building a free and lawful society at home. His principled declarations on behalf of freedom and peace reinforce our belief in these ideals. We hope and pray that his exile will be ended and that he will enjoy a long and creative life on behalf of science and humanity.
Note: The message was read to a group of scientists attending a conference in New York City on May 2.