morning. It is wonderful to be back in Phoenix,
and I am honored to be here today with so many
that make up America's finest law enforcement
we gather to honor the memory of men and women
from across law enforcement who dedicated their
lives to serving and protecting our nation. Those
whose names we will hear today were our friends
and partners, husbands and wives, mothers and
fathers, sons and daughters. They were also true
professionals we worked with and counted on each
and every day. Their hard work, their dedication,
and most importantly, their friendship, made our
jobs and our lives more meaningful.
Agents and officers we remember today came from
different agencies – the FBI, the DEA, the
ATF, the U.S. Marshals Service, and the State
of Arizona. They came from different backgrounds.
But they were bound by common values. Courage.
Sacrifice. And service.
were bound also by a common vocation, which was
more than just a job, or a career, or a profession.
They lived so that when wrong was done, justice
would be served. They lived to protect children
from predators, to eradicate drug trafficking,
to track down dangerous fugitives, to keep illegal
guns off our streets, to bring justice to victims,
to make our communities and our nation safer.
Like so many of you here today, they chose to
serve as agents and officers of the law, as guardians
lived to make a difference in this world. And
they died as they lived – defending freedom,
safeguarding peace, and preserving justice.
deaths remind us that we must never take our safety
for granted, and that our cherished freedoms do
not come without a price. The sacrifices of these
men and women are the reasons we continue to live
in a nation of freedom and opportunity. Their
deaths serve as a vivid reminder of why we do
the jobs we do. We are privileged – and
proud – that these heroes chose to stand
beside us. We will always remember and be inspired
by the example they have given us. Their spirit
remains, like a handprint on our hearts.
a few moments, we will hear the names of those
who have fallen in the line of duty. We will place
wreaths in their honor. And we will seek to find
meaning in our loss. During this difficult time,
we can find comfort in the words of two great
presidents. Theodore Roosevelt said, "It
is not the critic who counts, nor the man who
points out how the strong man stumbles, or where
the doer of deeds could have done them better.
The credit belongs to the man in the arena, whose
face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who
strives valiantly...who knows the great enthusiasms,
the great devotions, who spends himself in a worthy
cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph
of high achievement, and who at the worst, if
he fails, at least fails while daring greatly,
so that his place shall never be with those cold
and timid souls who have never known neither victory
credit he spoke of belongs to each and every Agent
and officer we honor today. They dared greatly.
They knew the great enthusiasms and devotions,
and they spent themselves in a cause worthy of
their character. But the credit belongs also to
you. You are carrying on their life's work –
and this is the highest honor we can pay to law
enforcement, our friends, our loved ones.
On the battlefield at Gettysburg, 141 years ago,
Abraham Lincoln said, "It is for us the living,
rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished
work which they who fought here have thus far
so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here
dedicated to the great task remaining before us
– that from these honored dead we take increased
devotion to that cause for which they gave the
last full measure of devotion."
as we honor our fallen Agents and officers, let
us also rededicate ourselves to their high ideals
and great devotion. Let us live out their legacy
of courage, sacrifice, and service; fidelity,
bravery, and integrity. Let us recommit ourselves
to defending freedom, guarding peace, and preserving
justice. I cannot think of a more fitting tribute.
you and God bless you.