The White House Briefing Room

August 15, 1998


                           THE WHITE HOUSE

                    Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release                            August 15, 1998     

                            TO THE NATION

                          The Oval Office 

10:06 A.M. EDT

	     THE PRESIDENT:  Good morning.  Two days ago, at Andrews 
Air Force Base, we welcomed them home:  America's brave sons and 
daughters, carried under stars and stripes, flanked by the silent 
sentries of the honor guard.  They had perished in Nairobi, cruelly 
and without warning, in an act of terror at the American Embassy.  It 
was not the sort of homecoming any of us would have wished.  But it 
was a tribute that befit their service to our nation.

	     Hillary and I had the honor to meet with their families 
on the morning of the ceremony.  They shared stories with us, stories 
and memories, showing us photographs.  Their shoulders were heavy 
with sadness; their voices sometimes shook.  But anyone could tell 
that their hearts were full of pride for the brave service of their 
loved ones, and pride in the nation they so ably and faithfully 
represented around the world.  Collectively, over the course of the 
their careers, these 12 men and women represented the United States 
in more than 20 countries across the globe, from Brazil to Botswana, 
from France to the Philippines, from South Korea to their final post:  

	     They represented America not simply by their deeds but 
by their character: by the quiet labors of a medical doctor; the 
careful diplomacy of a foreign service officer; the iron discipline 
of men and women in uniform.  Their dedication to America was matched 
by their dedication to their families.  In all these ways, they 
represented the best of our country.  They showed the world our very 
best face and shared with its people our most cherished values.

	     As a nation, we have lost much.  These families have 
lost even more.  Words cannot describe, and tributes cannot begin to 
fill, the cruel vacancy left by evil acts of terror.  But in the 
example of the proud and grieving families I met on Thursday, we find 
an embodiment of American resolve.  They made it clear to me they did 
not want us to give in to terror or to turn inward or retreat, for 
the world is full of promise and they do not want us to try to stop 
resolving the misunderstandings that can deteriorate into the rot of 

	     Instead, they urged us to stand strong, as ever, for 
freedom and democracy in all countries and for all people.  And our 
administration will remain committed to the fight against terror.  
Over the last few years, working with Congress, we have passed tough 
new criminal penalties, tightened security at airports, strengthened 
protection of our troops overseas.  We have created an international 
coalition to help us combat terrorism, and have apprehended or helped 
to capture more than 40 terrorists abroad -- including those involved 
in attacks on Pan Am Flight 830 and the World Trade Center, and in 
the murder of two CIA employees in Virginia.

	     We must continue to lead the world toward peace, 
freedom, and prosperity.  That is why our diplomats are on the job 
today around the world -- working to ensure our national security, 
working to strengthen the global economy, working to bring peace to 
troubled regions, working often at risk to themselves.  And that is 
why we now must work to rebuild our embassies in Nairobi and Dar es 

Salaam, to secure our embassies and outposts around the world, to 
support our friends in Tanzania and Kenya as they rebuild.

	     This week, I have spoken with leaders in Congress, 
Republicans and Democrats alike.  In the finest American tradition, 
they have pledged to join me in protecting America's presence 
throughout the world.  Today, we think especially of those serving in 
our diplomatic posts.  I ask all our citizens to say a prayer for 
them and to express gratitude for their service.  The spirit of the 
patriots who have dedicated, or lost, their lives to service is the 
spirit of America.  They help to keep our nation strong and free, 
peaceful and proud, a powerful beacon of hope for the world.

	     Thank you for listening.

             END                          10:11 A.M. EDT