Her Majesty the Queen, the Mother of the Land (11/08/2004)
Her Majesty Queen Sirikit celebrates her 6th cycle or 72nd birthday anniversary this year. For many months prior to the auspicious 6th cycle birthday on August 12, plans were worked out and activities and projects were conducted to pay tribute to Her Majesty on this special occasion.

August 12 each year is observed as National Mother’s Day in honor of Her Majesty the Queen, who is recognized as Mother of the Land. In Thai society, a mother is accorded the highest significance as the giver of life and the person who nurtures and brings up family members. She is also someone who works for a living and teaches knowledge and skills until the children become self-supporting, all this without expecting anything in return.

Activities and projects conducted as a tribute to Her Majesty on this auspicious occasion are meant to show Thai people’s gratitude to the Mother of the Land. It is quite truthful to say that Her Majesty the Queen is deeply loved and admired by her subjects. For over 50 years Her Majesty has worked side by side with His Majesty the King to eliminate difficulties within the country. Her kind heart and deeds are known not only to Thai people but also to the world at large.

Recognized for her remarkable achievements, Her Majesty the Queen has been presented with many awards. Among these awards were the UNICEF Recognition Award and the UNIFEM Award of Excellence presented to her in 1992. The UNICEF Recognition Award bears the inscription To Her Majesty Queen Sirikit in Recognition of Her Dedication and Profound Commitments to Improving the Lives of Mothers and Children.

The UNIFEM Award of Excellence has the inscription Presented to Her Majesty Queen Sirikit of Thailand in Recognition of Her Earnest Commitment and Support of Thai Women’s Contribution to Their Country. That same year, she was presented with UNESCO’s Borobudur Gold Medal Award. UNESCO found her work through the SUPPORT Foundation, established by Her Majesty, to be in accordance with UNESCO’s aim to preserve the cultural heritage.

In 1979, Her Majesty received the Ceres Gold Medal from the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO). An excerpt in the official citation said For your far-sighted efforts to advance the status of women, as expressed in the Royal Patronage of organizations and programs providing educational and training opportunities to enable women to improve their economic and social welfare, while enhancing appreciation for their national cultural heritage.

In 1985, Her Majesty was honored with the Asia Foundation’s Humanitarian Award, in recognition of her work for her own people and her efforts on behalf of the thousands of refugees who fled to Thailand.

She also received the First Distinguished Service Award of the Save the Children Foundation in 1980 for her extraordinary efforts in helping Southeast Asian refugees. In late 1991, the Friends of the Capital Children’s Museum in Washington, D.C., presented Her Majesty with the International Humanitarian Award.

Her Majesty the Queen’s achievements in conservation are evident. She was presented with a certificate proclaiming her as an outstanding protector of forests and wildlife by the World Wildlife Fund in 1986. The United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) in 1992 presented her with the UNEP Gold Medal of Distinction.

Numerous honorary degrees were conferred on her as well. Her benevolence is always remembered and cherished. Long Live Her Majesty the Queen, the Mother of the Land.

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