05/07/2012

Prince Harry given award for service to wounded

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Prince Harry helps plant an October Glory Maple tree during a reception for wounded soldiers at the British Ambassador's Residence in Washington on Monday. The wounded soldiers participated in the Warrior Games which is an event hosted every year by the U.S. Olympic Committee. (AP)

If there a chance to spread the word about one of his charities, Prince Harry is willing to go almost anywhere.

On Monday, it sent him across the ocean to Washington, D.C., his first visit back to the U.S. since his Apache helicopter training.

510762678The Prince was in the U.S. capital to accept an award on behalf of The Foundation of Prince William and Prince Harry for charitable activities on behalf of wounded servicemen.

The award for “Distinguished Humanitarian Leadership” comes from the Atlantic Council, a Washington-based think tank. Founded in 1961, it is a non-partisan institution “devoted to promoting transatlantic cooperation and international security.”

Former U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell presented the award (right).

Harry spent the day visiting with wounded veterans at the British Ambassador’s Residence, before attending the awards dinner at the Ritz Carlton Hotel.

Wounded servicemen and women from Britain and the U.S. met the Prince after competing in last week's Warrior Games, a Paralympic-style sports event, in Colorado.

Harry’s charitable work includes Walking With the Wounded and Help For Heroes. Harry is seen often promoting the charities and last March joined a group of wounded servicemen for five days during their trek to the North Pole.

During his speech at the black-tie awards dinner, the 27-year-old prince praised the soldiers as heroes.

"They have paid a terrible price to keep us safe and free," he said.

"The very least we owe them is to make sure that they and their brave families have everything they need through their darkest days -- and, in time, regain the hope and confidence to flourish again.

"For these selfless people, it is after the guns have fallen silent, the din of battle quietened, that the real fight begins -- a fight that may last for the rest of their lives."

The Atlantic Council's annual award ceremony also honour U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter. Unilever CEO Paul Polman received the Distinguished Business Leadership Award.

US_NEWS_PRINCEHARRY_3_ABAPrince Harry meets with wounded soldiers from Britain and the United StTates at the British Embassy in Washington. (Abaca Press/MCT)

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