George W. Bush photo

Remarks at the Swearing-In Ceremony for State Department Foreign Service Personnel

February 15, 2001

Mr. Secretary, thank you very much. I'm so honored that you invite me to your place of business. [Laughter] Ambassador Davis, you remind me of my mother. [Laughter]

Thank you, Director General Grossman, as well. Family members, it is my honor to be here with you as you watch your loved ones get sworn in. And on behalf of every American, congratulations. You have just become a part of the best diplomatic corps in the world.

In the months and years ahead, Secretary Powell and I will be counting on you, and so will your fellow citizens. Throughout the decades of your career, we'll all be counting on you, even as you go about your work with little fanfare. When you succeed, most Americans, most of the time, will never hear about it. A crisis that is averted just doesn't make a headline; a problem that is solved hardly ever leads the evening news. I have confidence—I have confidence, and so does the Secretary, that you will hold up the legacy of excellence found in this building.

As you take up your first assignments overseas, I want you to remember that you will be the image of America, the face and voice of her values. You will represent the strength of America, our compassion, and our humility. This is a high calling and a difficult one, and your country appreciates your work.

It is the duty of America to support you, as well. This room honors one of America's greatest diplomats, Ben Franklin. Franklin once wrote, "Keep thy shop, and thy shop will keep thee." Today you join America's diplomatic shop. Our job is to support you as you support and sustain America's interests and ideals around the world.

So once again, congratulations to you all. God bless you, and God bless our country.

NOTE: The President spoke at 2:25 p.m. in the Benjamin Franklin Room of the Harry S. Truman Building. In his remarks, he referred to Ruth A. Davis, Director, Foreign Service Institute; and his mother, former First Lady Barbara Bush.

George W. Bush, Remarks at the Swearing-In Ceremony for State Department Foreign Service Personnel Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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