January 28, 2005
(Applause.) Thank you very much. Thank you. Well, this is a little different welcome than the first time that I came to work at the State Department. Now, that may surprise some of you, but I was, in 1977, an intern in the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. (Laughter and applause.) Now, there's a lesson in that: Be good to your interns. (Laughter.)
Complete text of her remarks can be found here.
Also distributed (sorry, couldn't find a link):
Message from the Secretary of State
Colleagues, today is the first of many days ahead that we will work together to help our country build a safer, better world. I am honored to lead the State Department at this critical timeÂ—a time of challenge and hope and opportunity. And, like you, I owe a special debt of gratitude to our dear friend Colin Powell, who has served our nation with distinction, and has done so much to strengthen the Department of State.
September 11, 2001, was a defining moment for our nation and the world. Under the vision and leadership of President Bush, our nation has risen to meet the challenges of our time; fighting tyranny and terror, and securing the blessings of freedom and prosperity for a new generation. The work that America and our allies have undertaken, and the sacrifices we have made, have been difficult. And necessary. And right. Now is the time to build on these achievementsÂ—to make the world safer, and to make the world more free. We must use American diplomacy to help create a balance of power in the world that favors freedom. And the time for diplomacy is now.
In these momentous times, American diplomacy has three great tasks. We will unite the community of democracies in building an international system that is based on our shared values and the rule of law. We will strengthen the community of democracies to fight the threats to our common security and alleviate the hopelessness that feeds terror. And we will spread freedom and democracy throughout the world. That is the mission that President Bush has set for you and me, and the great mission of American diplomacy today.
As we begin our work together, President Bush and I will expect great things from each of you in the service of your country and of a great cause. More than ever, you will be active in spreading democracy, fighting terror, reducing poverty, and helping to protect the American homeland.
I want each of you to know that I have no higher priority than the well-being and personal development of the men and women of the Foreign and Civil Services and the Foreign Service Nationals who work beside us. I know from experience how hard you work and the many risks you take. And I am especially aware of the hardships and sacrifices that your families endure as they also serve our nation. I want you to know that I will personally work to help ensure that you have the tools you need to do your jobsÂ—from training to budgets to mentoring to embassy security.
Colleagues, I am honored to be your Secretary during these historic times. Together, we will serve our wonderful country and the cause of freedom for which it stands.
Let's see... first she thanks outgoing Secretary Powell, next is a reminder about 9/11, then diplomacy, building democracy, fighting terror, and looking out for her people.
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