August 22, 2019

In Thailand, Duckworth Highlights Importance of the U.S.-Thai Alliance and Maintaining the International Rule of Law


[NAKHON NAYOK, THAILAND] – In an address to graduating cadets at the Chulachomklao Royal Military Academy (CRMA) in Thailand, Combat Veteran and U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) detailed the historic friendship between the United States and Thailand and emphasized the need to continue strengthening ties between the two nations while working together to uphold international norms. She also discussed her personal experience in the U.S. military, celebrating CRMA’s cadets for heeding their nation’s call to service.Duckworth was born a United States citizen in Thailand and lived in several different Southeast Asian nations while her father worked at multinational corporations as well as the United Nations delivering humanitarian aid in the region after he served in the U.S. Armed Forces. Photos of the speech are available here.

Key quotes translated from her address follow:

For centuries now, our countries have learned from and leaned on each other: militarily, diplomatically, economically and culturally… We’ve helped one another grow and evolve… adapting to an era in which technology allows allies half a world away to be there for each other in half an instant…prov[ing] that there’s no greater asset than a partner you can count on in both times of peace and conflict.”

“We’ve seen what happens when we close our eyes to the wrongs before us. When our commitment to international rule is anything but resolute, economies falter. When norms and principles are breached, alliances fissure… That’s just one reason why I’m so grateful that each of you walked through the Academy’s doors. By signing up to serve, you’ve proven willing to stand up for what’s right—to fight for freedom, not just when it’s easy, but when it’s hard. Especially when it’s hard.”

“The United States’ motto is ‘E Pluribus Unum,’ which means ‘out of many, one.’ That’s the kind of camaraderie I felt with my unit… So even knowing what I do now—even if I knew that I’d get blown up and lose my legs—I’d do it all again in a heartbeat. Because I gained more than I ever gave up during my time in the military. Wearing my nation’s uniform was the greatest honor and privilege of my life. Just as I’m sure it will be for you whenever you put on the uniform of your country.”

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