Secretary of State John Kerry had a special guest at yesterday’s ceremonial swearing-in that brought back memories of Campaign 2004.
“I want to welcome some of my crew members who are here, the guys who served on boats with me in Vietnam. These are men who lived and know the truth of our service, and they honor me today with their presence just as they did with their patriotism four decades ago. I’m grateful, wherever they are,” Kerry said in a lengthy speech.
He also recognized “Thomas Jefferson’s successors” Hillary Clinton, James Baker, George Schultz, Colin Powell, Henry Kissinger, and Madeleine Albright. He noted that the White House has absorbed many of his former Senate staffers.
Kerry individually thanked many lawmakers and former members of Congress who showed up for the occasion, including “John McCain, who was a part of a very special journey to try to make peace with Vietnam, which we did, and it’s such an honor to travel with him and be part of his life. And I appreciate it very much.”
“I am proud to take on this job because I want to work for peace and because the values and the ideals of our nation are really what represents the best of the possibilities of life here on earth. But I make clear today to those listening, while my preference is for a peaceful resolution to conflict, my journey has also taught me that when remedies are exhausted, we must be prepared to defend our cause and do what is necessary to stand up to extremism, terrorism, chaos and evil, and we will continue to do so,” Kerry continued.
“…We’re in a world of unparalleled technology, unprecedented growth in the number of young people, of unleashed sectarian strife and religious extremism. And I believe, and I know the President and Vice President share this deeply, unless we stay vigilant, these forces threaten to unravel whole nation-states and create greater pockets of instability than we have seen in recent times. This is our challenge. I believe the United States has to join with other nations to pool our resources, our talents, our thinking, and to create order where there is none, and to fix, or try to fix, what is broken. All of us need to do better at inviting people to embrace the values that have always inspired us.”