Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson, President of Iceland, awarded 14 people with the Order of the Falcon yesterday, on Iceland’s national day.
Among those honored at the official presidential residence, Bessastaðir, was the historian Guðjón Friðriksson, who wrote the President’s biography, released in late 2008. The actor and singer, Egill Ólafsson, and the head of the Association of the Elderly, Þórunn Sveinbjörnsdóttir, were also honored.
Other Order of the Falcon honors went to Inga Þórunn Halldórsdóttir, former head teacher in Kópavogur; Jóhann Sigurjónsson, director of the Marine Research Institute; Kristín Jóhannsdóttir, actress; and Líney Rut Halldórsdóttir, director of the Icelandic Sports and Olympic Association.
Guðjón Friðriksson was awarded the Knight’s Cross for his contribution to Icelandic literature and historical study. As well as writing Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson’s biography, he has also written biographies of Jón Sigurðsson and Hannes Hafsteinn, the history of Copenhagen as the capital of Iceland (written with Jón Þ. Þór) and the history of Reykjavík, among others. Many of his books have been best-sellers.
Two people were awarded the Grand Cross: Ambassador Egill Egilsson and ministry head Ragnhildur Arnljótsdóttir, RÚV reported.
Aron Björnsson, a senior physician from Reykjavík, was honored for services to medicine and surgery. Einar Jón Ólafsson, a trader from Akranes, was honored for services to his hometown. Margrét Lísa Steingrímsdóttir, a therapist from Reykjavík, was honored for services to disabled children and welfare. Stefán Reynir Gíslason, musician and choirmaster from Varmahlíð, was honored for services to music in the countryside. And Steinunn Briem Bjarnadóttir Vasulka, an artist from the USA, was honored for services to innovation and originality in art.