Last week, I had the honor and privilege of representing my organization at a groundbreaking ceremony for the U.S. Diplomacy Center, a museum to be built at the State Department in Washington, D.C. In attendance were five of the former Secretaries of State--Henry Kissinger, James Baker, Madeleine Albright, Colin Powell, and Hillary Clinton--as well as current Secretary of State, John Kerry.
I don't think I'm exaggerating when I say it was a once-in-a-lifetime event, with some of the greatest minds in diplomacy gathered in one room. The timing was interesting, because President Obama had addressed the world from Estonia earlier in the day, talking about America's place in world events. Each of the Secretaries addressed the need for diplomacy in the midst of so much turmoil and uncertainty, but Colin Powell summed it up most eloquently: there are numerous memorials in Washington, D.C. commemorating the men and women in our armed services, but none to honor the diplomats who prevent war and bloodshed. The U.S. Diplomacy Center will provide a much-needed testament to the invaluable work that happens behind the scenes on the world stage.
For one brief moment, I felt connected to a much larger world with tremendous forces at play, which I found both humbling and inspiring. As a newly minted U.S. citizen, I felt particularly honored to be part of this special occasion and I cannot wait to see the museum when it opens its doors to the public, for all to see and enjoy. In the meantime, here's a video of the events: