As our nation continues to mourn the loss of four diplomats in Libya, including U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, the U.S. Senate last night unanimously approved a resolution honoring America's Foreign Service officers. The resolution, which was sponsored by U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), recognizes the dedication and sacrifices made by U.S. Foreign and Civil Service professionals and their families.
"The attack on our embassy in Libya was a tragedy, and I join President Obama and Secretary Clinton in condemning the actions of those involved," said Whitehouse. "Now, as our nation comes together to honor the service of Ambassador Stevens and his colleagues, it is fitting that we make special note of the sacrifices made by our men and women serving abroad. As the son of a career diplomat, I know that these brave individuals put public service and patriotism above all else. I am honored to help recognize their service and sacrifice in this dark hour."
The text of the resolution is below.
Expressing appreciation for Foreign Service and Civil Service professionals who represent the United States around the globe.
Whereas the United States Foreign Service was established by Congress in 1924 to professionalize the country's diplomatic and consular services and advance freedom, democracy, and security for the benefit of the American people and international community;
Whereas the United States Agency for International Development was established in 1961 to support the United States' foreign policy goals through economic, development, and humanitarian assistance;
Whereas the U.S. State Department and U.S. Agency for International Development together employ more than 27,000 Americans in the Foreign and Civil Service dedicated to promoting American interests around the world;
Whereas Foreign Service personnel deploy to Asia, Africa, the Americas, Australia, Europe, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia on a permanent, rotating basis to defend and promote American priorities abroad;
Whereas many Foreign Service employees spend months or years away from families and loved ones on assignment to dangerous or inhospitable posts where family members are not permitted;
Whereas numerous State Department and U.S. Agency for International Development employees have lost their lives while serving abroad;
Whereas strong and purposeful American diplomacy and development, carried out by a diverse, professionally educated, and well-trained force of Foreign and Civil Service professionals, are the most cost-effective means to protect and advance American interests abroad;
Whereas the promotion of the United States' commercial engagement in foreign markets and targeted international development projects support economic prosperity, job creation, and opportunities for American business and industry;
Whereas U.S. diplomats are often the first line of defense against international conflict and transnational security threats;
Whereas Foreign and Civil Service professionals have worked to support the United States' armed forces involved in critical national security missions and military engagements in dangerous and unstable regions;
Whereas Foreign and Civil Service professionals administer emergency assistance in crisis situations;
Whereas the contributions of Foreign and Civil Service professionals to the global advancement of international understanding, American ideals, and to the promotion of freedom and democracy around the world should be commended: Now, therefore, be it
Resolved, That the Senate --
(1) Recognizes and gives special appreciation to the personnel of the United States Foreign and Civil Service at the Department of State, United States Agency for International Development, and other U.S. Government agencies that promote and protect American priorities abroad; and
Owes a debt of gratitude to these individuals, and their families, who put public service and pride in their country ahead of comfort, convenience, and even safety in service to the United States and the global community.