FT. MYER, Va -- The Department of Defense held its ceremonial good bye for the President of the United States during the Full Honors Review here, Friday, January 5, 2001.
Before a joint services honor guard and an audience of U.S. military members and distinguished guests, Secretary of Defense William H. Cohen and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Army Gen. Henry H. Shelton delivered remarks recognizing and honoring President Bill Clinton's service as commander-in-chief of the U.S. Armed Forces.
Secretary of Defense Cohen highlighted President Clinton's leadership in navigating through post-Cold War uncertainty. "And I know it's tempting to judge a president's role on the world stage by the wars that were won on his watch, but I would suggest that there is a more telling measure; the foundation that he lays for future peace and prosperity and security."
In President Clinton's address to the ceremony, he credited the U.S. military with being a prime force in maintaining and increasing the security of the nation and the world in the aftermath of the Cold War.
President Clinton also cited the day-by-day peril servicemembers face and the lives they lose performing their duties. "We saw it most recently in the USS Cole; but every year, in ways that don't make the headlines, about 200 of these young people give their lives just doing their jobs."
In the tradition of pervious generation of Americans who have served in the armed forces, contemporary servicemembers continue to ensure the ongoing well being of the nation, said President Clinton. "For over 220 years now, the survival of our nation has depended upon the military's success; and for over 220 years, our military has succeeded."
The ceremony also honored First Lady and Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton for her advocacy of quality-of-life issue in the military and for her championing of DoD schools as a model for the nation's schools.
The President and Senator Clinton were also presented with Distinguished Service Medals during the ceremony.