Buried In Arlington National Cemetery:
Each Is to be buried
in Arlington National Cemetery
Click Here For Photographic Coverage Of The Bombing And Its Aftermath
Grieve Together,' Clinton Tells Africans
August 16, 1998
In an address videotaped for broadcast overseas, Clinton said the 245 Africans killed in the Aug. 7 blasts, which also claimed the lives of a dozen Americans and injured more than 5,000 people, "were important to America because we cherish our friendship with your peoples."
"Violent extremists try to use bullets and bombs to derail our united efforts to bring peace to every part of the Earth," the president said. "We grieve together, but I am proud that our nations have also renewed our commitment to stand together."
In a separate radio broadcast from the Oval Office, Clinton said that when he and the first lady met Thursday with families of the 12 Americans killed, he found "an embodiment of American resolve.
"They made it clear to me they did not want us to give in to terror or to turn inward or retreat," he said.
Clinton approved waivers to allow three of the Americans killed in Nairobi to be buried at Arlington National Cemetery, which is usually reserved for certain members of the military. They are Julian Bartley, 55, the consul general; his son, Jay, 20; and Prabhi Kavaler, 45, who worked for the General Services office.
Members of the military who died in the embassy bombing in Nairobi automatically received approval for burial at Arlington because they died in the line of duty.
Turns Over A Suspect To Kenya
August 16, 1998
suspect in the U.S. Embassy bombings that killed more than 250 people in
East Africa was arrested in Pakistan and handed over to Kenyan authorities,
bypassing U.S. investigators, the Pakistan Foreign Ministry and another
government source said Sunday.
The suspect, identified as Mohammad Sadik Howaida, was arrested on his arrival from Nairobi at the Karachi airport on August 7, a Foreign Ministry spokesman said. That was the day of the nearly simultaneous bombings at the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. A government source speaking on condition of anonymity said he was returned to Nairobi a week later.
The U.S. Embassy in Islamabad refused immediate comment.
The government source said the suspect told his interrogators that a few other conspirators, who left Nairobi earlier, had already passed through Pakistan into Afghanistan. He had planned to do the same, he said.
The source told The Associated Press that investigators suspected a link between Howaida and Saudi multimillionaire Osama bin Laden, who has been living in neighboring Afghanistan for the last two years.
U.S. officials have said that bin Laden, who has been vocal in his hatred of the United States and is among the world's most militant sponsors of terrorism, was a possible suspect in the African bombings.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Tariq Altaf said immigration officials determined that Howaida's Yemeni passport was forged, and he was interrogated by Pakistani officials.
``On satisfaction about his involvement in these terrorist acts, he was sent back to Nairobi and handed over to the Kenyan authorities for appropriate action under their law,'' Altaf said, adding that Howaida was sent to Nairobi aboard a special plane.
A foreign ministry statement identified Howaida as an ``Arab national'' without elaboration, a phrase that in Pakistan usually means someone from anywhere in the Middle East.
A day earlier, U.S. authorities in Washington said CIA agents were headed to Pakistan to question the man. But Altaf said no foreigners were allowed to interrogate Howaida. The government source said Pakistani officials refused U.S. officials who came to Karachi access to the suspect, and they had to follow him to Kenya on another plane.
When Mir Aimal Kasi, a Pakistani later convicted in the United States of killing two CIA employees, was arrested in Pakistan in June 1997 in a joint FBI-Pakistani operation, angry Pakistanis accused their government of groveling before U.S. power.
The Kasi case could be one reason that Howaida was not directly handed over to the Americans, the source said.
The national newspaper The News, quoting unidentified government sources Sunday, said the suspect confessed to planning the bombings. The News said he had received help in Kenya from sympathizers with connections to the Egyptian Islamic Jihad organization.
Several groups use the name Islamic Jihad, or Islamic Holy War. Before the bombings, a group known as the Islamic Jihad reportedly vowed to strike America interests because some of its members were arrested in Albania. That group is considered the successor to the groups that assassinated Egyptian President Anwar Sadat in 1981.
|Statement by The United States Department of State|
August 7, 1998, over 150 innocent civilians were killed by terrorist bombs
when they exploded at the U.S. embassies in Nairobi, Kenya and Dar es Salaam,
Tanzania. These two cowardly attacks seriously wounded thousands of men,
women and children. Civilized people everywhere reject such acts of random
violence. No one should be forced to live in fear wondering when the next
attack will occur.
The United States Government is offering a reward for information leading to the arrest or conviction, in any country, of the person or persons responsible for the bombings of the two embassies. A reward of up to $2 million may be paid to any person who furnishes such information. The reward is available under the U.S. Department of State's Counterterrorism Rewards Program. This program is designed to protect innocent lives by punishing past terrorist acts and preventing future ones. The U.S. Government may also provide for the protection of identity and the possibility of relocation for persons and their families who contribute such information.
Persons wishing to report information about these bombings, or any other terrorist attack, should contact the authorities or the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate. In the U.S., contact the Federal Bureau of Investigation or call the U.S. Department of State Diplomatic Security Service at 1-800-HEROES-1 (within U.S. only). Information may also be provided by writing:
HEROES P.O. Box 96781 Washington, D.C. 20090-6781, USA
Americans Return Home
August 14, 1998
AIR FORCE BASE, Md. -- To the strains of "Nearer My God to Thee," the remains
of 10 Americans killed by the terrorist bomb in Kenya were borne home Thursday
and received at a solemn ceremony by President Clinton.
After a 10-hour, 18-minute flight from Germany, accompanied by Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, the coffins were draped in flags and escorted with full military honors to a tableau of 10 black hearses lining a giant hangar at Andrews Air Force Base.
Clinton watched the precision-drill ceremony with tears streaming down his face as the silver trumpets of the Air Force Ceremonial Brass Band swelled with a lush arrangement of "America the Beautiful."
"Nothing can bring them back," the president said to an audience of 2,500 family members, friends, the diplomatic corps and service men and women. "But nothing can erase the lives they led."
Those who died were a cross-section of the foreign service community, including the consul general, an Army sergeant, a security guard and an epidemiologist with the Centers for Disease Control who was testing a new anti-malaria drug. They were killed last Friday when a bomb blew up the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi. The blast killed at least 247 people and wounded 5,000. Another bomb went off simultaneously at the embassy in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, killing 10 people.
Albright described her mission of returning with the remains in a C-17 transport plane from Ramstein Air Force Base in Germany as one of sorrow mingled with pride.
"They were the kind of unpretentious but remarkable people who represent America in diplomatic outposts around the world -- people doing their jobs day in and day out, working for peace, strengthening democracy, healing the ill, helping those in need, winning friends for America," she said.
After criticism in Africa that Americans were more concerned about the few Americans who were killed than the hundreds of Africans, officials at Thursday's ceremony pointedly remembered the African victims. The Color Guard carried the flags of Kenya and Tanzania, along with that of the United States.
No one referred to the State Department's admission Wednesday that the ambassador to Kenya, Prudence Bushnell, had pleaded for tighter security at the embassy over the last nine months but was turned down for budgetary reasons.
Instead, the grim ceremony focused on the dead Americans. Clinton and his wife, Hillary Rodham Clinton, met privately with more than 60 of the relatives for about an hour in advance, moving from table to table for quiet conversation, so the president could learn a bit about each of those who died.
The service was held here instead of Dover Air Force Base, the typical port of arrival for those killed overseas, because so many colleagues and friends live in the Washington area. But the remains were sent to Dover later for post-mortem examinations. From there, the remains will be escorted to hometowns across the country.
One widow, Debbie Hobson, whose husband, Army Sgt. Kenneth Hobson II, of Springfield, Mo., was killed in the blast, said she was going to take her husband's ashes to Big Sur, Calif., where they had fallen in love, and cast them into the Pacific Ocean.
Twelve Americans were killed in Kenya. The remains of Air Force Senior Master Sgt. Sherry Lynn Olds went to Florida at her family's request. The 12th victim, Jean Dalizu, is to be buried in Kenya, where her husband lives.
Administration officials said the families of three victims -- Julian Bartley, the consul general; Jay Bartley, his son, and Prabhi Guptara Kavaler, a general services officer at the Nairobi embassy -- had requested burials at Arlington National Cemetery. The officials, who said they were unaware that any of the three had served in the military, said that the secretary of the Army was reviewing the requests, and that the White House was to announce the decision Friday.
Burial for non-veterans at the increasingly crowded cemetery has become a sensitive matter, especially for veterans groups. Last month a Capitol Hill police officer who was shot to death in the Capitol was buried at Arlington, even though he had not served in the military.
The ceremony had a Washington air. Many of the mourners wore government identification tags on chains around their necks or clipped to their jackets. A voice on the public address system asked mourners to deactivate their cell phones and pagers during the service. And everyone had to pass through a security check.
When the transport plane nudged into view of the hangar, the 25-piece brass and percussion ensemble played "Nearer My God to Thee." The back doors of the hearses were opened, and their white tail lights reflected off the glossy hangar floor as pall bearers from each branch of the services, in full dress uniforms, delivered each coffin from the plane.
At the end of the 45-minute ceremony, drivers silently pressed the hearse doors shut and drove off, one by one, with a slight delay when one hearse would not start. The hearses drove onto the airfield, where they waited until the mourners left. The hearses then returned to the hangar and the coffins were reloaded onto the transport plane for the flight to Dover.
Andrews, Sorrow and Pride
August 14, 1998
everyday Americans killed by a terrorist bomb a continent away came home
yesterday, their bodies borne from an Air Force transport jet into a cavernous
hangar that was draped in deep blue and filled with the grief of their
Led by a tearful President Clinton who quoted from scripture as he stood beside 10 gleaming black hearses, friends, relatives, government officials and complete strangers gathered to pay solemn tribute to the Nairobi bombing victims on their arrival at Andrews Air Force Base.
They were innocents, the president and others said of them: diplomats and doctors, youthful soldiers and administrators, kind, adventurous spirits who left behind spouses, children and parents to reckon with their murders.
"Proud sons and daughters who perished half a world away," the president called them, but who "never left America behind."
Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright, who accompanied the bodies on their 10-hour flight home from a U.S. air base in Germany, described the dead as "unpretentious, but remarkable people . . . doing their jobs . . . healing the ill, helping those in need."
Yesterday's ceremony, aside from the dignitaries' brief speeches, was marked chiefly by a heavy silence that was broken only by an honor guard's shouted commands, an Air Force band's quiet hymns and the muffled sounds of anguish.
The fat, gray C-17 transport – named the Spirit of America's Veterans – that carried the bodies from Ramstein Air Base, Germany, arrived at 10:30 a.m at the Andrews installation southeast of Washington.
Only 10 of the 12 Americans killed in last Friday's blast outside the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi were on board. Their flag-draped coffins were carried off the airplane, each by an eight-man honor guard representing the Army, Air Force, Navy, Marines and Coast Guard, and placed in the hearses that sat in the hangar waiting with their rear doors open.
The body of one American victim, Jean Dalizu, 60, a longtime resident of Kenya, is being buried there. A second body, that of Air Force Senior Master Sgt. Sherry Lynn Olds, 40, was sent directly to her home in Panama City, Fla., at the request of her family.
More than 250 people were killed and 5,000 wounded in twin bombing attacks at the U.S. embassies in Nairobi and at Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania.
Close relatives of the dead had gathered in a closed-off area of the hangar for an emotional private meeting with the president before the bodies arrived. They were then escorted through parted curtains to the seating area.
It was a sorrowful moment. One woman, clutching a large framed portrait of a loved one, stopped just before emerging into the seating area and buried her face in a handkerchief. Others entered crying, holding on to one another, or with eyes red from grief.
Clinton, too, seemed extremely troubled. His eyes were brimming with tears as he and first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton emerged to take their front-row seats.
"Every person here today would pray not to be here," the president said. "But we could not be anywhere else."
"The rest of your fellow Americans have learned a little bit about your loved ones in the past few days," Clinton told the families.
"Of course, we will never know them as you did or remember them as you will: as a new baby, a proud graduate, a beaming bride or groom, a reassuring voice on the phone from across the ocean, a tired but happy traveler at an airport, bags stuffed with gifts, arm outstretched.
"Nothing can bring them back," he said, "but nothing can erase the lives they led, the difference they made, the joy they brought."
As the Air Force band played "Nearer My God to Thee" and "America the Beautiful," the hearses slowly drove in single file out the hangar doors.
The bodies were later reloaded onto an airplane and flown to the military mortuary at Dover Air Force Base, from which they would be returned to their families.
For them, the day seemed almost unbearable.
"Words are very hard to find right now," said a distraught Clara Aliganga, of Pensacola, Fla., whose son, Marine Corps Sgt. Jesse Nathanael Aliganga, was killed guarding the Nairobi embassy.
"I want everybody to know that, true enough, I am saddened by the loss of my son," she said. "But I'm also comforted to know that Nathan left me in good hands. I have a wonderful extended family, the United States Marine Corps."
"This is something Nathan wanted to do," she said as she stood wearing a small blue ribbon – as did other family members – and a tiny pendant bearing a picture of her son.
"Every mother wants them right under the wing, close to the heart," she said. "But you have to let them go. And I did, and stood behind him in his decision. I'm sorry he had to go."
In addition to family members, though, there were others present yesterday who had less intimate or only slight connections with the victims. Some knew them not at all.
Army Sgt. 1st Class Rick Breedlove sat alone in the hangar two hours before the ceremony, waiting to say goodbye.
In 1992 he had met bombing victim Julian Bartley, Sr., 55, the former Bowie resident who was the embassy's consul general, when both were stationed in Korea.
When Breedlove was suddenly sent back to the United States, it was Bartley who made sure that the young Army sergeant's Korean bride got the right papers to make it to America.
"He personally helped her through it," said Breedlove, his eyes watering. "That's why I'm here. He took a personal interest in my family. That's something you don't forget."
"He was extremely personable, kind and generous," Breedlove added. "His son was just like his dad – a good, moral person." Bartley's son Jay, 20, also was killed in the blast.
Kay Mears, 56, a Navy retiree from California who suffers from post-polio syndrome and osteoporosis, came to the ceremony on crutches. "I didn't know any of them, but I knew all of them. They were Americans," she said. "I would have crawled, if I had to, to get here."
Mears, wearing an American flag on her blue lapel, cried softly as she spoke. She had been visiting her son in the Washington area when the bombings took place. "It's just a privilege to be able to be here," she said. "My heart just wanted to say goodbye."
Junior Williams, 41, a retired Army major from Indianapolis, was visiting Washington as a tourist but decided to break off his tour of Washington to attend the ceremony. "It's very important to show respect, not only for the loss of life, but for the families, so they know they're being supported," he said.
State Department employees arrived at the ceremony by the busload. Many of them knew one or more of the victims.
Pam Anderson, an employee with the Foreign Service Institute Library, met bombing victim Arlene Kirk, 50, of South Bend, Ind., when the two were stationed in Cairo, and both made a trip to Israel. "She was a very warm and friendly person," she said.
"This is not the first time something like this has happened," said Gladys Brooks, a personnel management specialist with USAID. "It's rather depressing."
Elizabeth Bajis, an employee with the University of Maryland office on Andrews, stood amid the crowd carrying 10 red roses in her arms, one for each victim at the ceremony. "I thought it was such a horrible thing," said Bajis, who attended with several other employees from her office. "I wanted to do something to show they were appreciated."
Many diplomats also attended. Said Thomas Ndikumana, charge d'affaires from Burundi: "It was impossible for me not to come here, as a sign of sympathy, and opposition to terrorism."
Service, Grief Overtakes Weary Clinton
Friday, August 14, 1998
Clinton, who so many times has presented himself as comforter to the stricken,
yesterday was himself the stricken man.
As Clinton gazed at the 10 flag-draped caskets before him at Andrews Air Force base, a tear streaked down the right side of his drawn face, leaving a glistening path that stayed there for the rest of the ceremony.
When he spoke, his voice was hoarse and heavy, at times little more than a whisper. And when it was time to leave, television cameras captured the president in the back of his limousine, bowing his head and rubbing his hand into the bridge of his nose.
Clinton has many times been called on to be the voice of national grief -- after the horror of the Oklahoma City bombing, and the plane crash in Croatia that took the life of his close friend, Commerce Secretary Ronald H. Brown. But never before has Clinton appeared in public looking quite so drained and disconsolate as he did yesterday morning. And never before have the incongruities of Clinton's presidency been more vividly on display.
The morning was a thoroughly public moment, one of those majestic occasions when a president is most clearly leader of all the people. The afternoon found Clinton absorbed in a thoroughly private moment, utterly lacking in majesty, as he retreated to the White House to prepare to be questioned Monday by independent counsel Kenneth W. Starr in the Monica S. Lewinsky investigation.
White House officials said Clinton was emotionally shaken by an hour-long meeting, before the start of the ceremony, with the families of people who perished in last week's African embassy bombings. Yet the president's pained, weary visage suggested that the combined demands of both his official duties and his personal travails may have tapped out his emotional reserves.
At the end of the ceremony, as Clinton watched the coffins being loaded into hearses, first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton kept glancing at her husband, with a look of concern on her face.
If Clinton has reached the point of exhaustion, it would hardly be a surprise. A hyperkinetic president under normal circumstances, Clinton has responded to the stress of the Lewinsky investigation by plunging into even more frenetic activity.
A card game with friends in Arkansas one night last month stretched on until 5 a.m. A cross-country political jaunt earlier this week included two consecutive 20-hour days and a red-eye flight that brought Clinton back home at 6 a.m. Wednesday.
In remarks at a Los Angeles fund-raiser Tuesday night, he talked about the public problems he is trying to solve as president, his voice rising and his words speeding up. He banged the lectern as he spoke.
His comments suggested a president facing a sordid legal battle trying hard to remind listeners, and perhaps himself, that there is a higher purpose to politics. "The truth is that most of you will do all right" no matter how Democrats do, he told the well-heeled contributors. "But the people who are serving our food here tonight, the people that are parking cars, the people that work in every place of business that I passed on the way up here tonight, it makes a whole lot of difference to them and their grandchildren."
Those words were an echo of those Clinton offered once before when allegations of sexual indiscretions were threatening his career. In the New Hampshire Democratic primary of 1992, after the Gennifer Flowers controversy broke, Clinton's mantra to voters was that the election was about their future, not his past.
Speaking of his own presidency, Clinton said, "No matter what you read, every day has been a joy for me and I have loved it."
On other occasions, Clinton's gift for empathy and the rituals of public grief have helped him regain his confidence as a leader. The most striking example was in 1995. Clinton, according to aides who worked with him then, was dejected after Democrats were routed in mid-term elections the previous November. With Republicans ascendant, Clinton was for the moment sidelined in Washington's policy debate. But the bombing of the Oklahoma City federal building showed that, in moments of national shock or crisis, there is no substitute for the president. Clinton's public display of sorrow and resolve won praise even from his most vituperative critics, and seemed to lift his presidency.
Clinton yesterday spoke with resolve. "No matter what it takes," he said, "we must find those responsible for these evil acts and see that justice is done."
But the steely words were uttered by someone whose emotions were clearly frayed. He returned to the White House, one senior aide said, struck by the utter senselessness of the deaths. For the rest of the day, another aide said, Clinton's thoughts seemed to keep drifting back to the scene in the hangar. There, in a closed-off area, each family sat at its own table, and the Clintons made their way through, talking to everyone.
"There was a level of intimacy," said one White House aide who accompanied Clinton. "These families took him into their grief."
As for Clinton's own mood, the aide said, "He was quite grim." Back at the White House, he added, "The work is the work and he's doing it. But this was a very hard day for him."
By President Clinton, Secretary Cohen & Secretary Albright
13 August 1998
WHITE HOUSE Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release August 13, 1998
REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENT, SECRETARY OF DEFENSE WILLIAM COHEN, AND SECRETARY OF STATE MADELEINE ALBRIGHT AT CEREMONY HONORING THE MEN AND WOMEN WHO LOST THEIR LIVES IN THE BOMBINGS OF THE EMBASSIES IN KENYA AND TANZANIA
Andrews Air Force Base Maryland
11:20 A.M. EDT
SECRETARY COHEN: Mr. President, Mrs. Clinton, Secretary Albright, members of Congress, General Shelton, members of the Joint Chiefs, Janet, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, and especially families and friends of those we honor today: This is a moment of profound sadness and grief -- for the families whose loved ones have been torn from their embrace; for the many friends and colleagues whose lives they have enriched; and for our nation whose cause they so courageously served.
Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. once spoke words that give us strength today. "Alas," he said, "we cannot live our dreams. We're lucky enough if we can give a sample of our best and if in our hearts we can feel it's been nobly done."
We borrow this moment to express our sorrow and gratitude both to the families who are gathered here and to these fallen heroes who lived their dreams, giving more than a sample of their best both as soldiers and diplomats. They endured hardship, and yet they served quietly and proudly. They knew the dangers of their profession, yet risked life and limb for us all. They lived with action and passion. They were the best that America has to offer. They were the better angels of our nature.
I consider the men and women in uniform to be ambassadors of goodwill as well as warriors, carrying our values and virtues wherever they're deployed. But today is an historic reminder that America's ambassadors and diplomats and their staffs are granted no exemption from danger while serving on the front lines of democracy. On behalf of America's Armed Forces, I want to recognize all who serve in our embassies, consulates, and compounds abroad. The freedoms that we cherish are stronger, our nation is more secure, because of who you are and what you do.
The 12 Americans and the 245 Kenyans and Tanzanians were taken from us in a violent moment by those who traffic in terror and rejoice in the agony of their victims. We pledge here today that neither time, nor distance can bend or break our resolve to bring to justice those who have committed these unspeakable acts of cowardice and horror. We will not rest. We will never retreat from this mission.
This tragedy has cost us precious lives and there's no expression of grief and no vow for justice that can lift the pain of this day, but we can never allow terrorists to diminish our determination to press on with the inspiring work of those who have been taken from us. Their sudden loss must only strengthen our sense of purpose. They did not serve and they did not sacrifice, they did
not give their lives so that we could walk away from this new world that they were helping to build for others. We must ensure that the torch of freedom always burns brighter than the fires of hate; and that we continue to be an America worthy of the ultimate price that they have paid.
These sons and daughters of America were of a manner pure with lofty purpose. Six days ago they left us, lifted beyond this mortal veil, having given more than a sample of their best. Along with their families, we now bid them farewell, with reverence and respect, knowing in our hearts that their work was nobly done. May God continue to embrace our nation, and may He open up his arms to these heroes, there on high, where they shall dwell forever.
SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: Mr. President and Mrs. Clinton, Secretary Cohen, members of the Cabinet, General Shelton, and leaders of our Armed Forces, distinguished members of Congress, Excellencies from the Diplomatic Corps: On behalf of the State Department family, thank you all for being here to share our sorrow, determination, and pride.
Above all, I want to welcome the family members and friends of our fallen colleagues and loved ones. We will miss them and grieve for them. We're proud of these fine Americans. They were our best. Their memory and our love for them lives on.
We are mindful that the same explosions that caused their deaths killed many more Kenyans and Tanzanians, including at least 42 Foreign Service nationals, who worked with great dedication for the identical causes that we do. We are deeply saddened by this tragedy. We pray for all those who were murdered and for the speedy restoration to health of those who were injured. We pray that the burdens of grief will be tempered by the affection of so many who knew and worked with those who have been lost.
At the same time, we must act to prevent such outrages in the future. A plague of terror has claimed victims on every continent. The people of every continent must unite in defeating terror, and the world must understand what terror can and cannot do. Terror can turn life to death, laughter to tears, and shared hopes to sorrowful memories. It can turn a building to rubble. But it cannot change America's determination to lead or to strive with others to build a world where there is more hope and prosperity, freedom and peace.
Make no mistake, terror is the tool of cowards. It is not a form of political expression, and certainly not a manifestation of religious faith. It is murder -- plain and simple. And those who perpetrate it, finance it or otherwise support it, must be opposed by all people.
Rest assured, America will continue to be present around the world, wherever we have interests to defend, friends to support, and work to do. America will not be intimidated. We will maintain our commitment to the people of Africa. We will do all we can to protect our diplomatic and military people around the world. We will do everything possible to see that those responsible for last week's bombings are held accountable. America's memory is long; our reach is far; our resolve unwavering; and our commitment to justice unshatterable.
To the families, let me say I know that words are not enough. Love is the most wonderful gift in life, but at times like this also the most painful. The loss you have suffered is without measure. We're all diminished, for those we remember today reflected the strength and diversity of our country. They were the kind of unpretentious, but remarkable people who represent America in diplomatic outposts around the world -- people doing their job day in and day out, working for peace, strengthening democracy, healing the ill, helping those in need, winning friends for America. Above all, they were builders, doers, good people who acted out of hope and with the conviction that what will be can be made better than what has been.
This has been a mission of pride and sorrow. I am honored to bring them home to America.
It is beyond our power to turn the clock back to before last Friday. We cannot alter the past; we cannot bring back the ones we love. But we can choose what they chose, to be animated not by fear, but by hope; to define ourselves not by what we are against, but by what we are for; to acknowledge the presence of evil in this world, but never lose sight of the good; to endure terrible blows, but never give in to those who would have us give up or turn away from our responsibilities, or abandon or principles, or surrender our faith.
By so doing, we can ensure that the perpetrators of the bombings will be foiled in whatever purpose they may have had, and that America will continue to stand tall and straight and strong in the world.
May our fallen colleagues and loved ones be forever honored, for we will never cease to be proud of them. May they rest in peace, for we will never forget them. And may their deaths inspire us to be fully worthy of freedom, which we hold in solemn and sacred trust for our generation and generations yet to come.
Thank you, and God Bless you all.
THE PRESIDENT: To the members of the families here, Secretary Albright, Secretary Cohen, members of the Cabinet, members of Congress, leaders of the Armed Forces, members of the Diplomatic Corps, friends, and we say a special appreciation to the representatives here from Kenya and Tanzania.
Every person here today would pray not to be here. But we could not be anywhere else, for we have come to honor 12 proud sons and daughters who perished half a world away, but never left America behind; who carried with them the love of their families, the respect of their countrymen, and above all, the ideals for which America stands. They perished in the service of the country for which they gave so much in life.
To their families and friends, the rest of your fellow Americans have learned a little bit about your loved ones in the past few days. Of course, we will never know them as you did or remember them as you will -- as a new baby; a proud graduate; a beaming bride or groom; a reassuring voice on the phone from across the ocean; a tired but happy traveler at an airport, bags stuffed with gifts, arms outstretched. Nothing can bring them back, but nothing can erase the lives they led, the difference they made, the joy they brought.
We can only hope that even in grief you can take pride and solace in the gratitude all the rest of us have for the service they gave.
The men and women who serve in our embassies all around this world do hard work that is not always fully appreciated and not even understood by many of their fellow Americans. They protect our interests and promote our values abroad. They are diplomats and doctors and drivers, bookkeepers and technicians and military guards. Far from home, they endure hardships, often at great risk.
These 12 Americans came from diverse backgrounds. If you see their pictures, you know they are a portrait of America today and of America's tomorrow. But as different as they were, each of them had an adventurous spirit, a generous soul. Each relished the chance to see the world and to make it better.
They were a senior diplomat I had the honor to meet twice, and his son, who proudly worked alongside him this summer; a budget officer; a wife and mother who had just spent her vacation caring for her aged parents; a State Department worker who looked forward to being back home with her new grandson; a Foreign Service officer born in India, who became an American citizen and traveled the world with her family for her new country; a Marine Sergeant, the son of very proud parents; an Air Force Sergeant who followed in her own father's footsteps; an epidemiologist, who loved her own children and worked to save Africa's children from disease and death; an embassy administrator, who married a Kenyan and stayed in close touch with her children back in America; a Foreign Service officer and mother of three children, including a baby girl; a Foreign Service member who was an extraordinarily accomplished jazz musician and devoted husband; an Army Sergeant, a veteran of the Gulf War, a husband, a father, who told is own father that if anything ever happened to him, he wanted his ashes scattered in the Pacific off Big Sur because that was where he had met his beloved wife.
What one classmate said to me of his friend today we can say of all of them: They were what America is all about.
We also remember today the Kenyans and Tanzanians who have suffered great loss. We are grateful for your loved ones who worked alongside us in our embassies. And we are grateful for your extraordinary efforts and great pain in the wake of this tragedy. We pray for the speedy recovery of all the injured, Americans and Africans alike.
No matter what it takes, we must find those responsible for these evil acts and see that justice is done. There may be more hard road ahead, for terrorists target America because we act and stand for peace and democracy; because the spirit of our country is the very spirit of freedom. It is the burden of our history and the bright hope of the world's future.
We must honor the memory of those we mourn today by pressing the cause of freedom and justice for which they lived. We must continue to stand strong for freedom on every continent. America will not retreat from the world and all its promise, nor shrink from our responsibility to stand against terror and with the friends of freedom everywhere. We owe it to those we honor today.
As it is written: "Their righteous deeds have not been forgotten. Their glory will not be blotted out. Their bodies were buried in peace, but their names shall live forever."
Sergeant Jesse Nathan
May they find peace in the warm embrace of God, and may God give peace to those who love them, and bless their beloved country.