Gen. Peter Pace on the Defenders of Freedom

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2004 Keeper of The Flame Award
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On Wednesday October 6, 2004, the Center for Security Policy paid tribute to the Defenders of Freedom - the men and women of the U.S. armed services (active duty and reserve), officials of the executive, legislative and judiciary branches, those responsible for the security of our borders and homeland, the first responders, the law enforcement community, intelligence personnel, our allies and industrial base. Accepting the Keeper of the Flame Award on their behalf was the Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Peter Pace USMC.

General Pace's address to the 350-plus attendees at this elegant black-tie dinner held at the Mayflower Hotel was preceded by a welcome from Harry Stonecipher, President and CEO of the Boeing Company, who served as the Dinner's Chairman. Gen. Pace was introduced by the Supreme Allied Commander, Europe, General James Jones, following a powerful address by the Homeland Security Advisor to the President, Fran Townsend. Ms. Townsend also read a congratulatory message from President George W. Bush that read, in part:

"I commend the Center for Security Policy and those attending this dinner for honoring these dedicated patriots. As we continue to fight terrorism and advance liberty, America stands solidly behind the men and women of our Armed Forces. Their courage, commitment, and sacrifice inspire others and help protect our founding ideals..."

In accepting the award, Gen. Pace movingly praised the courage and commitment of those who serve, and in some cases die for, their country. He described particularly poignantly personal reminiscences of the sacrifices men he led in battle have made - and the inspiration they give to all who defend this country today. Gen. Pace expressed deep gratitude for the support given to uniformed personnel and the other Defenders of Freedom by their loved ones.

Among those in attendance for the fifteenth annual Keeper of the Flame Award were: Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Douglas Feith; Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Policy Peter Rodman; Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Forces Policy John Rood; and Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Proliferation Strategy, Counterproliferation, and Homeland Defense, NSC Robert Joseph.

Members of Congress in attendance included: Keeper of the Flame Award recipients Senator Jon Kyl (1994) and Congressman Christopher Cox (1997); Senator Ted Stevens, Senator Kit Bond and Congressman Norm Dicks.

Other distinguished guests included: Chairman of the Broadcasting Board of Governors Kenneth Tomlinson; former Chairman of the Defense Policy Board Richard Perle; and former Secretary of Defense, Secretary of Energy and Director of Central Intelligence and 2001 Keeper of the Flame Award recipient Dr. James Schlesinger.

The event concluded with remarks by Center Board of Regent Chairman Terry Elkes. Mr. Elkes joined in thanking Gen. Pace and the men and women he represented on this occasion, and encouraged their continued support through the work of the Center for Security Policy.

Frank Kitman