As he prepares to leave the US Senate after 36 years, Senator Richard Lugar is being honored for his work curbing nuclear proliferation. Lugar received the Department of Defense’s highest civilian award Monday.
The Department of Defense presented the award to Lugar and former Georgia Senator Sam Nunn. The Nunn-Lugar program, in place since the early 90’s, is aimed at locating and securing nuclear weapons that went missing after the Soviet Union dissolved.
Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, who presented the two men with the Department of Defense Medal for Distinguished Public Service, said Lugar and Nunn are a symbol of the kind of public service necessary for the safety of the country.
“Their dedication, their leadership, their efforts at trying to ensure that we do everything we can to try to control the spread of weapons of mass destruction has been an incredible legacy of two individuals committed to trying to protect this world,” said Panetta.
In a statement, Lugar said the work of the Nunn-Lugar program is far from over and urged the U-S and Russia to continue to work together to manage nuclear dangers.