Today, Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth is speaking at the National Day of Service on the Washington Mall. Earlier, Duckworth participated in a community service project with Greater DC Schools. A copy of her speech is below:
NATIONAL SERVICE DAY- JANUARY 19TH
Good Afternoon. I am Tammy Duckworth -- Congresswoman from the 8th District of Illinois.
I'm so proud to be here with you today. By being here, you have made a commitment to both your community and your country and I am inspired.
It is an enormous gift that we are all Americans and living in a country like ours today. Because we live here, we have opportunities and choices that many people around the globe do not have. As Americans you all chose to be here today to serve and that is a great testament to your character and America's future.
Service has played an enormous role in my life. I have been an officer for the last 21 years in the United States Army.
It is the heroism of our military men and women that inspires me. It is the sacrifices of those who continue to place their nation over their own lives that inspires me to continue to serve.
Only 1 percent of Americans choose to wear the uniform but there are so many other ways to serve your country. Whether it's volunteering at a soup kitchen or nursing home, tutoring at a school, or helping to build affordable housing. If it's working with PADS, Habitat for Humanity or No Hungry Kid or any of the great organizations here today.
We can all play a part in helping those in need and making America stronger. Back in Illinois, I volunteer at Feeding Greater Elgin and St. Paul's Food Pantry in Bloomingdale. I do this not only to make a difference - but because it is so rewarding to see the impact these programs have on my neighbors. Whether it's a girl scout making care packages for soldiers, a busy mom volunteering for the PTA or a senior citizen giving their time at a Veterans hospital. We can all make a difference.
On this weekend, it is especially important to take the time to reflect on the words and actions of Dr. Martin Luther King. We have a responsibility to Dr. King - who gave his life to make this country more free and just. We have a responsibility to go into our communities to make a difference. A responsibility to our armed servicemen and Veterans - who put their lives on the line every day for us. A responsibility to work hard for the future of our country.
I thank you so much for being here.
God bless all of you. God bless our troops who are in harms way. And, always, God bless America.
Now let's get to work!