Director's Community Leadership Awards
Community leaders from around the country gathered at FBI Headquarters in Washington, D.C.,to be recognized for their work and contributions in their communities.
[music by string quartet]
Welcome everybody and thanks for doing this. And as we'll point out, thank you for all your good work.
We're here to honor individuals who embody the true meaning of citizenship.
They've given their time and talent to make our communities safer and make this nation stronger.
I'm being recognized today for the role that I played during the evacuations of the Hurricane
Katrine refugees to Des Moines as well as helping the immigrants that come to Des Moines to settle down in Iowa.
And helping people to understand the work of the FBI and how they can be part of the community.
It's a great honor personally but is even a greater honor in recognition of the agents of the Denver Division and the tremendous work that they do day in, day out.
Like so many Americans on 9/11 my reaction was shock, quickly followed by anger, and then replaced by a desire to get involved.
Many Americans worry about their communities when they read the newspaper in the morning or watch the news in the evening.
And they wonder what can be done to solve society's problems and they hope that someone else comes up with the answers.
Not you. Instead of simply lamenting the problems you saw, you came up with answers and each of you took action in your own way.
On June 28th of last year we took probably 250 volunteers to a field that was very much in disrepair, lots of overgrown vegetation, rocks, anyway, we cleaned it up.
During this cleanup, some of our volunteers, up in all of that overgrown vegetation, they found a duffel bag. And in that duffel bag it was full of drugs and money.
So that was a hazard to those kids that are playing on those fields every day, whoever put that there. So we, um, we really helped solve some crimes that day I think, too.
Your work will have an impact far into the future, an impact on the safety of our children, the stability of our cities, and the security of our nation.
We in the FBI share your goals and we are committed to achieving them together with you.
My gratification comes from when a young men are able to not be in the system, when I follow up with them and parents are saying they're doing awesome.
They're taking my word, they're taking the education they got from the program and they're applying it, and they're also educating their friends.
You are the stewards of our communities. We could not do our jobs without your steadfast support.
You are bringing about the changes you want to see in this world. And you are taking action instead of waiting.
And each of us here at the FBI are grateful for your efforts.
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