|Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright
Remarks at Ceremony Honoring Those Who Lost Their Lives in the Bombings of U.S. Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in August 1998
August 7, 1999, Washington, D.C.
As released by the Office of the Spokesman
U.S. Department of State
SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: Our honored guests, family members and friends of the victims and those injured in the Africa embassy bombings; Attorney General Reno; National Security Adviser Berger; Director Tenet; OPM Director Lachance; AID Administrator Anderson; Ambassador Nyang'Anyi; Deputy Chief of Mission Kang'e; and representatives of the State Department and other federal agencies, good morning.
Let me begin, on behalf of the Department, by thanking you all for coming, and by thanking Robert Pinsky for that incredible poem, the Ministers of Music and the Foundry United Methodist Youth Choir for giving us the joy of music.
We gather this weekend in Nairobi, Dar es Salaam and here in Washington to remember and pay renewed respect to our loved ones, colleagues and friends who were killed or hurt last August 7. We do so not in anticipation of any comfort or release from sorrow for us, but rather to recognize and celebrate their lives.
Although a year has passed since that terrible day, our mourning for those who died -- American and African -- has not diminished. We miss them still and rage against their loss. We cannot accept their deaths because we cannot accept injustice. We think, as well, of those who were injured and who struggle to cope with wounds of body or mind. We are burdened by grief, but mindful also of reasons for deep pride.
As we look around this historic room, we see depictions of liberty's birth, and America's rise from wilderness to greatness. From the adjoining balcony, we can see the memorials to Lincoln and Jefferson, the white stone markers of Arlington, the raising of the flag at Iwo Jima, the Korea Memorial and the silent, etched eloquent black of the Vietnam Wall.
We are reminded that our country was conceived and built only at great risk. Those who settled, liberated, unified and defended our land paid a high price. But without their bravery and sacrifice, there would be no America.
The men and women we honor today are flag bearers in this same tradition. Whether a member of an armed service, the foreign or civil service, or a foreign service national -- such as those from Kenya and Tanzania we are proud to have with us today -- they were doers of America's work, promoting development, building peace, supporting justice, fighting disease.
This is work no well-spirited person could oppose. But because of America's role as the strongest and most effective supporter of democracy and law, we are a threat to those who threaten others. We are a target for terrorists. There is no greater honor than to represent America. But there is always danger in leadership, and no progress without risk.
Today, we vow that America will not be intimidated. We will not retreat from the world. We will not rest until every one of those responsible for the embassy bombings has been brought to justice. And we thank our law enforcement and intelligence personnel for the progress already made.
We recognize again the courage of Ambassador Bushnell, Ambassador-designate Lange and our embassy teams in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam. We affirm our deep friendship and respect for Kenya and Tanzania, whose citizens comprised the vast majority of victims last August 7.
We think of the families of the Americans who died and of their suffering. We will never cease to remember Nathan Aliganga, Jay and Julian Bartley, Jean Dalizu, Molly Hardy, Ken Hobson, Prabhi Kavaler, Arlene Kirk, Louise Martin, Michelle O'Connor, Sherry Olds and Tom Shah. They died for us, but they remain alive in our hearts. And in their names and in their memory, I announce today the creation of a special scholarship fund to help meet the educational needs of their children.
In the days ahead, I will be soliciting voluntary contributions to this fund and to the fund that provides emergency relief for our foreign service nationals.
A year has passed; the Earth has traveled once more around the sun. For many in this room, it has been the most difficult year. We have tried this morning, through music, poetry and words of remembrance, to mark appropriately this passage of time. In so doing, we are conscious that although there are no bounds to human affection, there are inescapable limits to human power.
We cannot turn back the clock, undo injury or restore life. But we have the power of memory and can ensure that there those hurt or taken from us will forever live. We have the power of faith and can ensure that their spirit of commitment and love is carried on. And we have the power of action and can ensure that their example of service to our country and to the sacred freedom upon which it is based, is forever honored.
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