The Foreign Service Journal - April 2017
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APRIL 2017


That is


we do it. That’s the very

definition of the work I’ve been privi-

leged to do, that I will pursue now in

different clothes, and that I leave to you.

That’s the sermon, and in a moment

I will let you go in peace. First, I want

to thank you for so many messages of

support and appreciation. One of you

here compared the situation to the scene

in “Star Wars” when Obi-Wan Kenobi is

struck down, and I found that touching.

Another compared it to the scene when

Princess Leia strangles Jabba the Hutt,

and I found that confusing.

The most meaningful came frommy

son Stefan, a future Nobel laureate in

physics, who wrote: “I am proud of your

decades of service to this country and

the world. You gave everything you could

for the people of this world in a slow

and painful line of work. You have given

more than your share. The values you

upheld in your career are part of what

makes me who I am.”

And that is


we do it.

Even if you don’t have your own

children, what you do in this building

tomorrow can mean another genera-

tion will live in a habitable world and

can enjoy peace and liberty. If we are

firm in our principles, steadfast in our

ideals and tireless in our determina-

tion to uphold our oath—to “defend the

Constitution against all enemies, foreign

and domestic”—then for many genera-

tions, other Americans will stand in this

spot with the same satisfaction and hope

I feel today.

I leave you with one last thought,

from one of my favorite philosophers. If

you’ve never read him, or not for many

years, I urge you to take the time now.

His name is…Winnie the Pooh. And he

said: “How lucky I am to have something

that makes saying goodbye so hard.”

Thank you and God bless you!