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American Legion Auxiliary Woman of the Year


Remarks Upon Receiving the American Legion Auxiliary Woman of the Year Award


Secretary Condoleezza Rice
Salt Palace Convention Center
Salt Lake City, Utah
August 29, 2006


Thank you. Thank you very much, Carol, for those generous remarks and I'd like to thank all of the women of the American Legion Auxiliary for this award. I want to thank the Chaplain, too, for her gracious prayers. And so many times, as I go across the country, people tell me and they tell the President that they are remembering us in their prayers. There is nothing more important. Thank you, thank you all for those prayers.

(Applause.)

I would also like to thank Auxiliary National Vice President JoAnn Cronin, as well as all of the other officers and members of this amazing organization. Thank you for having me here. It is indeed an honor to receive an award from this group, this group that serves as the largest patriotic women's service organization in the world.

(Applause.)

Now, I may have just received your Woman of the Year Award and I'm very grateful, but I have to tell you that I feel as though I'm in good company, because the women of this organization are the Women of our Times -- for your service, for your patriotism, and for your dedication to veterans' and their organizations.

When we think about the power of women, the American Legion Auxiliary exhibits just what can be accomplished when like-minded women work together. Only a group of strong, public-spirited women could take bright red crepe paper and turn it not just into a flower and a fundraiser, but also turn it into a symbol of the sacrifices being made by the men and women of our armed forces.

Only a group of strong, public-spirited women could step in to fill the gap for the thousands of families whose loved ones are bravely serving overseas and to create the Family Support Network as a hotline that families can call for help. Only a group of strong, public-spirited women would say we are going to continue to fight to protect America's flag, because desecrating our nation's symbol -- (Applause) -- desecrating our nation's symbol of freedom and democracy should be against the law. (Applause.)

And only a group of strong, public-spirited women would finish taking care of their own families and still find the time to volunteer at the local veterans' hospitals and even assist homeless veterans in getting the help they need. This organization has a record of service that speaks to your commitment to veterans and your love and concern for our country.

And before I close, I want to say one final thing about our current struggle to protect America and Americans from the threat of terrorism. As you know, our troops are bravely waging the global war on terror. They are helping countries like Afghanistan and Iraq rid their nations of terrorists. They are literally bringing terrorists to justice and, when necessary, bringing justice to terrorists.

The work that our troops are doing is so important and we are forever mindful of that as we come upon the fifth anniversary of September 11th, when thousands of innocent Americans died. That day forever changed our nation and it showed us that in the global war on terror we must stand strong. We must stand firm. And we must be forever resolved to root out terrorism and protect the safety and security of America's families and America's way of life.

(Applause.)

This will be a long and a hard struggle and your organization's support is needed now more than ever for our troops, for their families, and for our veterans as they return home. So I want to encourage you to continue the amazing work that you do. The American Legion Auxiliary has an important role to play in this global war on terror for our nation and I am so proud and so honored that you have honored me.

I want to thank you for that honor and I want to thank you on behalf of all Americans for your service to our veterans and our communities. God bless you.

(Applause.)

2006/T21-1

Released on August 29, 2006

ENDS


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