Monday, September 14, 2009

Hillary Rodham Clinton keynote speaker at National Day of Service and Remembrance

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton spoke as the keynote speaker on the evening commemoration of September 11th. She spoke at a commemoration attended by hundreds of September 11th family members at the historic Beacon Theatre in New York at 5:30 p.m. The Secretary, who as we all know, was representing the State of New York State as Junior Senator on September 11th, 2001 spoke about her knowledge of the events of that day and of the power of volunteerism to address critical needs.

The event was co-hosted by MyGoodDeed and ServiceNation, a coalition of more than 200 national and volunteer service organizations. The Corporation for National and Community Service and the September 11 Memorial & Museum also supported the event. Secretary Clinton is also a member of MyGoodDeed’s national advisory board.

Secretary Clinton, then Senator Clinton, also spoke at the 2008 ServiceNation Summit, where she gave a fantastic speech! Watch the clip below to see her remarks: (start at the 5' 45" mark to skip the introduction)

”We are delighted and honored to welcome Secretary of State Clinton as our keynote presenter,” said Jay S. Winuk, vice president and co-founder of MyGoodDeed and the brother of September 11 rescuer Glenn J. Winuk, an attorney and volunteer firefighter and EMT who died in the line of duty when the South Tower of the World Trade Center collapsed.

“Secretary Clinton, truly one of this nation’s most important and dedicated leaders, has long been one of the strongest and most effective advocates for this National Day of Service and Remembrance, as well as a tireless and caring source of strength for the entire September 11 community... We are deeply inspired by Secretary Clinton’s extraordinary commitment to turning the tragedy of September 11 into a positive expression of who we are as Americans, and an opportunity to build stronger communities and a healthier, more just nation and world,” said AnnMaura Connolly, a ServiceNation convenor and chief external affairs officer of City Year. "We are so honored to have her join us in paying tribute to those who lost so much on September 11, and to those who serve to remember them.”

New York Governor David Paterson also addressed at the event as well as Award-winning actor Gary Sinise, late-night talk-show host Jimmy Fallon., singer Gavin DeGraw, the Harlem Boys and Girls Club Choir, Grammy Award winners The Roots, and 2009 MTV Video Music Award nominee Anjulie.

Here are a few excerpts from her speech:

Now, like many of you, I will always carry with me the images and the emotions of that day of what came to be called Ground Zero. But I will also try to focus even more, if I can – as a citizen, and when I was a senator, and now as your Secretary of State – I will focus on the firefighters, and the police and the rescue workers, the citizens, all the first responders from wherever they came, who responded fearlessly to danger on that awful day – the images of them running into burning and collapsing buildings to save the lives of others, of those who climbed the stairs of the Towers to help others escape. They made the ultimate sacrifice. And it is those people – many of your loved ones, your friends, your colleagues – who we remember and honor today, who truly represent the best of humanity. And it is their example that must continue to inspire us all....

As individuals and as a country, one of the only certainties that we have in life is the expectation of challenge, whether we are suddenly confronted with a lost job or a disease in our family, a natural disaster in our community, or an act of terror against our nation. In response to adversity, we will rise to the call of service because we discover that we gain more than we give, and because serving is one way to express what it means to be an American.

So let’s go out and serve even more, inspired by today. Take that time to coach a child’s basketball team, or serve on a commission, or run for elected office. We’re helping knit together the social fabric that makes our society stronger and more durable.

And now, in this new century, with all the old and the new threats and challenges we face– some of which we can’t even anticipate or even imagine – we need to rely on the Americans spirit of service eve more...

Read the full text of her remarks here or watch below:

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