Here are the comments made by President Obama on Foreign Affairs Day:
I send greetings to
all those celebrating Foreign Affairs Day 2012 at the Department of State and our
Embassies and Consulates across the globe.
Today, we recognize the Foreign Service professionals who work tirelessly to advance our national interests
and build a safer, more democratic, and more prosperous world for all. You are the face of American diplomacy,
and on behalf of a grateful Nation, I thank you and your families for your professionalism, integrity, and
devotion to service.
Whether you work at the Department of State, the United States Agency for International Development, the Foreign Commercial Service, the Foreign Agricultural Service, the International Broadcasting Bureau, or at our
hundreds of Embassies, Consulates, and missions around the world, your work is immensely beneficial to the
American people and the international community. Your efforts to build bridges of understanding help promote
sustainable development and prosperity, global health, democratic values, and human rights. Even as you face
the unique and evolving challenges of the 21st century, you are laying the groundwork for a world where everyone
can make of their lives what they will.
On this occasion, we also pay homage to the memory of Sharon Sue Clark, a Department of State employee who
died of complications from cerebral malaria on December 26, 2010, while serving in Abuja, Nigeria. This Foreign
Affairs Day, her name will be etched into the Memorial Plaque, commemorating her legacy and the legacy of all
who made the ultimate sacrifice in pursuit of creating a better world.
I join Secretary Clinton in saluting those lost in diplomatic service to our Nation and in thanking all
those who continue to work toward a brighter future for Americans and people everywhere.