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Marriott Bombing Memorial Plaque Ceremony

Remarks by Deputy Secretary Negroponte for Marriott Bombing Memorial Plaque Ceremony

John D. Negroponte, Deputy Secretary of State
Islamabad, Pakistan
December 11, 2008

Released by U.S. Embassy- Islamabad

Good afternoon. It means a great deal to me to be with you on this solemn occasion to honor the service and sacrifice of our colleagues lost in the Marriott bombing on the 20th of September.

The three men we commemorate today are heroes who have lost their lives serving our country. Their loss is felt by their families and their friends, their colleagues and their country. Each of these men represents a singular story, a unique constellation of relationships, accomplishments, and aspirations cruelly destroyed by terrorism. But these men shared more than a tragic fate. They shared a noble impulse-an impulse to look beyond themselves, to look beyond their own comfort, and to dedicate their lives and energies to their country and to its ideals of freedom, democracy, and opportunity. Martin Luther King Jr. said that "life's most urgent question is: what are you doing for others?" For these men, the answer is obvious.

Indeed, the answer is clear for the thousands of men and women serving our country around the world. Here in Pakistan, especially, all of you assume great personal risk to advance a relationship that is critical to the security of our homeland, to the safety of our troops in Afghanistan, and to the stability of the entire region. I know that the security situation here complicates your already challenging work. And I know that all of you have loved ones back home, who honor your service, admire your courage, but fear for your safety. I always emphasize to newly sworn-in officers that public service is a family commitment, as well as an individual one. Nowhere is that truer... nowhere do family members share the burdens of public service more... than at hardship posts like this one. So, on behalf of Secretary Rice and the entire State Department, I want to thank you for the fine, important work you do here serving the American and Pakistani people.

In this quiet garden, we have long commemorated both Americans and Pakistanis who have lost their lives in service to this Mission and to the American people. There are a dozen plaques here dedicated to those lost between 1979 and 2006.

Today, we dedicate three more plaques in commemoration of the brave men who perished in the Marriott bombing. Let us take a moment to reflect on their service and supreme sacrifice, and to pray for them, their families and loved ones. Their memories will be a source of pride and inspiration for us to continue serving the cause for which they died: protecting our country, bettering the lives of all Americans, and sharing America's blessings of peace, security, and freedom with the world.

Thank you.


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