Good morning. It is an honor for me to be here. Thank you all for coming today. It is good to see so many of our partners in law enforcement here to mark this occasion.
This dedication is bittersweet for all of us. Today we celebrate a new beginning for the Springfield division. But we also mark a tragic ending—the death of Special Agent Rob Hardesty.
As you know, Rob died in June of this year as a result of serious injuries he sustained in a training accident at Quantico. Together with Rob’s wife and family, we mourn the loss of a fine agent and a good friend; a devoted husband and a loving father; a man who fought to protect his community and his country.
I want to thank Toni and her family for being here to honor Rob and his commitment to justice and to public service. His legacy will continue in this building, in this community, and within the FBI.
Here in Springfield, and in communities like this across the country, we face criminal and terrorist threats that are increasingly asymmetrical and complex. Those of us in law enforcement are called upon to handle diverse threats that span the globe, from international terrorism and violent gangs to human trafficking and computer intrusions. Technological advances have made jet travel, cell phones, and the Internet everyday necessities for law-abiding citizens and criminals alike. As a result, crime has migrated online and across international borders.
To address these threats, we in the FBI and in the law enforcement community have changed the way we do business. It is clear that no one agency, community, or even country can prevent terrorism and fight crime on its own, particularly in today’s global climate.
Today, we are working work side-by-side with our state and local counterparts. We routinely coordinate investigations and share information. We have come to realize that working together is not just the best option, it is the only option.
Together, we have had a number of successes. Many of these stories do not make the news and are never known to the public. In these cases, success is defined by prevention. Our top priority today is preventing another terrorist attack, and we are working together every day to make that priority a reality.
This new building, and the people who work within it, will be central to our efforts. With double the space, high-level security, and state-of-the-art technology, this facility will be a flagship for our new mission.
Let me mention just a few of the people who contributed to this building: Dr. Rustom Khouri, Mary Khouri, and Robert J. Berryhill from the Carnegie Management and Development Corp.; the men and women of the General Services Administration; the FBI Space Management Unit; and Ruth Trissel, the project manager and coordinator for the construction of this building.
We appreciate all you have done to see this new building take shape.
I want to thank our local law enforcement partners for their cooperation and support. We cannot do our jobs without you. Thank you for coming today to mark this occasion.
Finally, I want to thank the men and women of the Springfield division for their service. Your dedication, your integrity and your hard work are critical to our success in meeting new challenges and defeating today’s criminal and terrorist threats.
Here in the “Land of Lincoln,” it seems appropriate to close with the words of one of our greatest leaders.
In November 1863, Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg Address. Speaking of the soldiers who had died in the war, he said, “It is for us, the living, to be dedicated ... to the unfinished work which they who fought here have ... so nobly advanced. It is for us to be 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 ... that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain.”
Let us take these words to heart, in honor of Rob Hardesty and all law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty. To all who gave the last full measure of devotion to keeping us safe. Together, we will continue the work they so nobly advanced.
It is to this mission that we dedicate this building named after Robert R. Hardesty. It is to this mission that we in law enforcement and in the Springfield community must dedicate ourselves.
Thank you and God bless you.