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Congresswoman Waters Remembers Ambassador Richard Holbrooke

December 14, 2010
Press Release

Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA) issued the following statement upon the passing of Ambassador Richard C. Holbrooke, who died yesterday at age 69:

"Ambassador Williams and I are very saddened to learn that of our friend, Ambassador Richard Holbrooke, is no longer with us.

We first had the opportunity to meet Ambassador Holbrooke during diplomatic training in 1993. Sidney and Richard had recently been appointed by President Bill Clinton to serve as the Ambassadors to the Bahamas and Germany, respectively. As is required of the spouse of an incoming Ambassador, I also went through training to understand certain diplomatic protocol and procedure.

I have fond memories of that time, and I remember Richard as an extremely bright, articulate, and worldly man. He had an imposing presence, a keen intellect and a sharp wit, which had clearly served him well in the decades he trotted the globe making peace, shaping policy, and advancing our interests abroad.

Shortly after we met, he was dispatched to serve as the key negotiator to the 1995 Dayton peace accords, which ended the Bosnian War. I remember thinking that they couldn't find someone with more expertise or wherewithal to undertake such a complex and important task.

Whether in Vietnam or Afghanistan, the Johnson Administration or the Obama Administration, a dais at the United Nations or the theater of war, Richard served our country and the international community with grace, with strength, and with distinction.

Our diplomatic community, indeed, our country, has lost a tried and true public servant. During this difficult time, I take some comfort in knowing that the world is a better place because of Ambassador Richard Holbrooke, and I hope anyone who knew him will do the same.

My husband and I extend our deepest sympathies, our thoughts and our prayers to his wife, his children, his family and his many friends and colleagues."