Meeting With Staff and Their Families of Consulate Krakow
Secretary of State
So, it's a great privilege to introduce to you Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.
SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, thank you very much, Lee, and it's really a pleasure to be here. And I thank you for your leadership and all you are doing to strengthen our relationship with Poland. I want to thank Bill Heidt, the DCM. I want to thank Allen Greenberg and Mrs. Greenberg for serving here in Krakow. And it is wonderful to be back in the city. But I must confess it is somewhat frustrating that I am only here for such a short period of time and have such a busy schedule that I don't get to really enjoy the beauty of the city during this glorious summer day.
And I want to thank you, as Lee did, for everything you have done during this difficult time period for Poland. The contributions and assistance you provided in the wake of the tragic plane crash, the preparation that you did on behalf of President Obama's flight which got canceled because of the volcanic ash, the attending of funerals, the reaching out to the families that lost a loved one, it really has been an extraordinary example of American caring and concern and diplomacy at its best.
I think that events like today's Community of Democracies, which is truly a Polish-American initiative going back 10 years is just one more sign of our very durable bonds. And we know how important Poland's contributions to our efforts in Afghanistan have been to our joint defense here in NATO, to the hosting of the missile defense through the phased adaptive approach, and there are just enormous numbers of things I have to say thank you for.
I know he couldn't be with us today, but I wanted to congratulate Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Adam Mote for his distinguished service as our liaison to the Polish Special Operations Command, and his recent decoration by the Polish Minister of Defense. This has not been an easy job. In fact, sadly, as you know so well, the Polish special ops commander was killed in the crash. But Adam has been a very true friend and partner to his colleagues and counterparts.
The people-to-people relationships are very important. And I know that public affairs assistant Sedetska has launched this program, The American Dream Exhibition, that was actually featured in the state magazine. Where is Ivana? There you are. Thank you.
SECRETARY CLINTON: I also wanted to recognize Anne Barnaby. Is Anne here? Hi, Anne.
SECRETARY CLINTON: I know you remained here in Krakow while your husband served in Iraq. And I appreciate very much what you have done, demonstrating such respect and interest in Polish language, history, and culture.
I could literally go on and talk about each and every one of you, but I know that this mission here, and of course, in Warsaw, has an enormous agenda. And it is incredibly important we don't take sides in anybody else's elections, but once the election is over tomorrow to begin work again with the new government.
And, finally, thank you for the additional work you have done because of the meetings and side events around the Community of Democracies anniversary, and my visit. A special thanks to consular section chief Jeff Vick, for the work preparing and planning for my trip.
SECRETARY CLINTON: And I would like to recognize one of our locally-engaged staff members, Maria Bazarnik, for her dedicated work in the federal benefits unit. Maria? Thank you.
SECRETARY CLINTON: Actually, Maria's one-woman unit last year was the second most productive of 28 foreign field offices around the world. So that's a special reason why she is getting --
SECRETARY CLINTON: -- the department's superior honor award. So again, I thank you for your service. I wish you a very happy Fourth of July. I can see some of the children are already getting geared up to celebrate our Independence Day. And for all that you do every single day to exemplify and explain American values and to promote American interests and to further deepen and strengthen our ties with Poland, thank you all very much.