Mr. SARBANES. Mr. President, on Friday, May 3, I had the honor of joining with Secretary of State Christopher and the American Foreign Service Association [AFSA] in paying tribute to Commerce Secretary Ron Brown and 32 other Americans who were tragically killed in Croatia while in service to our country. A plaque was also dedicated to three diplomats who died seeking peace in Bosnia less than a year ago. On the occasion we were reminded not just of the individuals who lost their lives in these terrible tragedies, but of the risks and sacrifices that members of our Foreign Service undertake on a daily basis in an effort to support peace, democracy and freedom around the globe.
During the ceremony, held on the 31st annual Foreign Service Day, very moving speeches were delivered by Harold Ickes on behalf of President Clinton, by Secretary of State Christopher, and by F. Allen `Tex' Harris, president of AFSA. I believe their remarks bear repeating to a broader audience and thus ask that they be printed in the Record.
The remarks follow:
Mr. Harris. Dear Family Members, Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen and colleagues:
The American Foreign Service Association has the sorrow-filled responsibility of honoring those members of the Foreign Service and our colleagues serving abroad who lost their lives under heroic or other inspirational circumstances.
Today, we have the very sad duty of adding six names to the traditional Memorial Plaque:
Samuel Nelson Drew.
Robert C. Frasure.
Joseph J. Kruzel.
Ronald H. Brown.
Lee F. Jackson.
Stephen C. Kaminski.
We have the deep sorrow of honoring all those who died with Secretary Ronald H. Brown:
Gerald V. Aldrich.
Dragica Lendic Bedek.
Duane R. Christian.
Barry L. Conrad.
Paul Cushman, III.
Adam N. Darling.
Ashley J. Davis.
Gail E. Dobert.
Robert E. Donovan.
Robert Farrington, Jr.
Carol L. Hamilton.
Kathryn E. Hoffman.
Lee F. Jackson.
Stephen C. Kaminski.
Kathryn E. Kellogg.
Shelly A. Kelly.
James M. Lewek.
Charles F. Meissner.
William E. Morton.
Walter J. Murphy.
Lawrence M. Payne.
Nathaniel C. Nash.
Leonard J. Pieroni.
Timothy W. Shafer.
John A. Scoville, Jr.
I. Donald Terner.
P. Stuart Tholan.
Cheryl A. Turnage.
Naomi P. Warbasse.
Robert A. Whittaker.
I now have the honor of introducing the personal representative of the President of the United States of America, Mr. Harold Ickes, Assistant to the President and Deputy Chief of Staff.
Mr. Harold Ickes. Secretary Christopher, Secretary Perry, Secretary Kantor, members of Congress, men and women of the Foreign Service, ladies and gentlemen.
President Clinton asked me to be with you today as we honor an extraordinary group of Americans who gave their lives in service of their country and in the service of humanity.
Before reading the President's dedication, let me say to the families and loved ones of Bob Frasure, Joe Kruzel, Nelson Drew, and to those of Ron Brown and his entire delegation, I know that this is a day of very, very mixed emotions.
You've lost a father, a mother, a husband or a wife, a son or a daughter, a friend. The American people have lost some of their finest.
On a very personal note, with the death of Secretary Ron Brown, I lost one of my closest friends and wisest advisers. Ron Brown was in his service and in his life a spring day. He let himself and all of us to believe that making a difference was a joy as well as a duty. He was an achiever of potential. His grace, his intelligence , his self-confidence without a trace of arrogance, and his abilities to motivate, to lead and to bridge were a rare combination of qualities.
I am very proud and very fortunate to have had him as my friend. To Alma, Michael, Tracy, we will all miss him greatly. Let me now read the President's dedication.
Each year on Foreign Service Day, hundreds of active and retired Foreign Service employees come together to discuss foreign policy initiatives. It is also a day of remembrance when the foreign affairs community honors its many colleagues who have given their lives in service of our country.
`As we pay tribute to the memory of those who we have lost, let us rededicate ourselves to the goal for which they lived: maintaining America's leadership in the fight for peace and freedom throughout the world.
`In today's increasingly interdependent world, our nation's future is linked more than ever to events that take place beyond our borders, to strengthen our security, promote our prosperity and advance our interests. As we move towards the 21st century, America must stay engaged.
`Whether supporting peace, freedom and democracy and other transnations threats, combating environmental degradation, opening markets and expanding of trade, the American Foreign Services has a critical role to play.
`Our Foreign Affairs men and women serve on the front lines, often in demanding and sometimes dangerous surroundings. I'm committed to do all I can to insure that Congress provides the funding we need to support your essential work.
`This year, our nation has lost some of its best and brightest public servants, and I have lost a very dear friend. The American people will not forget the contributions made by Secretary of Commerce Ron Brown and the 34 members of his delegation who died in a plane crash on a fog-shrouded mountainside in Croatia.
`They were on an important mission to bring development and economic stability to a wartorn region far from home. Unfortunately, theirs is not the only recent tragedy in that part of the world. We finally and respectfully remember our colleagues, Robert Frasure, Joseph Kruzel and Samuel Nelson Drew who lost their lives in Bosnia.
`These men, who represented the Department of State, the Department of Defense and the National Security Council and the United States Air Force, embodied the spirit of service that sets our nation apart. Their heroic efforts helped bring an end to four years of bloodshed and gave the children of Bosnia a chance to grow up in peace.
`To all Foreign Service professionals, active and retired, and their family members in the United States and abroad who support America's values worldwide, I send my deepest thanks and appreciation.' Bill Clinton.
Mr. Harris. Thank you very much. We appreciate that. I now have the great honor of introducing a distinguished American with a long, long successful record of service to this nation and to his community. Family members, distinguished guests, ladies, gentlemen, colleagues, the Secretary of State, Warren Christopher.
Secretary Christopher. Thank you, Tex, Harold, Senator Kassenbaum. Senator Sarbanes, Secretary Perry, Secretary Kanter, and other distinguished guests here today.
Let me extend a special welcome to the families of the men and women we are honoring today. You will always be a close part of the State Department family.
As the President has said, we come together every year on this day to celebrate the dedication and the accomplishments of the Foreign Service. But this is often a sad day as well because it is the day we add names to the memorial plaques in remembrance of our colleagues who gave their lives in service to their country.
Thirty years ago there were 72 names on this wall, covering all of American history since 1780. Now the list has grown to 188. And in the last year, two terrible tragedies have reminded us again that in this dangerous world, duty and sacrifice often go hand in hand.
We often say that we must take risks for peace. Today we see that the risks are all too real. To our sorrow, we learn that peace cannot be made through telephone or fax. It usually can't be made in Washington or in Geneva. It can only be made by people who are willing to fly where the bullets fly, to go where roads are treacherous and where safety and security are often missing in action.
Sadly, we can't take the danger out of diplomacy. But we can and must honor the peacemakers and their deeds. And we can make sure the American people know of the sacrifices the peacemakers make for our sake.
Last August in Bosnia three American diplomats were on their way to the besieged city of Sarajevo when they lost their lives on a muddy mountain road. Bob Frasure, Joe Kruzel, and Nelson Drew believed that peace was possible in Bosnia. And they were certainly right. Indeed, they were the path-finders who made peace possible.
Just a month ago, Ron Brown and a team of government officials and business leaders were on a journey to Croatia. They lost their lives trying to make sure that the peace our diplomats had forged would endure. They were convinced that American capital and American know-how could help rebuild that shattered land, that it could give the people of that country a reason to resist the temptations of war. And they, too, were right.
As I have travelled the world in the weeks since these two tragic events, I have received a chorus of condolences from leaders all around the world who understand the sacrifices made by the families of the men and women who died in those tragic events.
A short time ago, when I was in Sarajevo and in the compound of our Embassy, I planted two dogwood trees in honor of Bob Frasure. But by far the most eloquent tribute to his work, and to Joe's and to Nelson's and to Ron's and all those we honor today, has been the return of normal life that I could see all around me in Sarajevo. Every school reopened, every family reunited, every road and factory rebuilt is a monument to the service of these brave Americans.
That monument, of course, is a work in progress. It is being shaped by countless hands--by our diplomats, our soldiers, by our civil servants, and by the people of the region. The memory of our fallen colleagues impels us not to rest--not to rest at all--until this work is completed.
The men and women we honor today, as the President said, will always represent what is best about America. They were generous enough to share their talent and spirits with others. They were dedicated enough to make sacrifices in the cause of public service. They were realistic enough to know that America's fate is inseparable from the fate of the world. And they were optimistic enough to believe that the difficult problems can be solved but only solved when America is determined to overcome them.
Thinking of them, I was reminded of something that one of our visitors this week, Shimon Peres, once said: `Nobody will ever really understand the United States . . . You have so much power, and [yet] you didn't dominate another people; you have problems of your own, and [yet] you have never turned your back on the problems of others.'
Anyone who knew these wonderful friends and colleagues understands something very important about America. Anybody who passes through this hall and who pauses to think about the lives behind the names of the people on these plaques will understand something about the American ideal. Here, in the presence of these names, there is not an ounce of cynicism about the country or about the people who represent it.
So even as we mourn, let us keep alive the spirit that gave these lives such meaning. And let these names be a reminder to us all--a reminder of the risks and hardships that dedicated Americans endure for their country, and let it be a reminder of the constant need to carry on their work, our work, until it is finally finished.
Thank you very much.