U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs

Tracy A. Henke, Acting Assistant Attorney General
Office of Justice Programs

National Crime Victims' Rights Week Third Annual Candlelight Observance
Washington, DC
April 7, 2005

Thank you John. I am pleased to be part of this observance and to join will all of you in remembering the plight and the courage of all crime victims.

I would like to thank my friend and colleague Ken Wainstein for being here tonight. Welcome to Ms. My'lee. And of course, we are grateful that Attorney General and Mrs. Gonzales are with us this evening.

Most importantly, thank you and welcome to all of you for joining here to pay tribute to crime victims and those who help them.

It is a tremendous opportunity to work for President Bush and Attorney General Gonzales. They understand that justice is more than just the apprehension, prosecution, and incarceration of a criminal. They understand that a system of justice that fails to take into account the needs and rights of victims is a seriously flawed one.

For that reason, we are honored at OJP, through our Office for Victims of Crime, to have the responsibility for supporting services to crime victims.

We have a long history in OJP not only of funding services, but of raising awareness of victims' needs and of promoting victims' rights. We strive to ensure that the help victims receive from counselors, advocates, and service providers is complemented by rights and respect accorded by the criminal justice system.

But it is those of you in the field who have brought about the important and far-reaching changes that we celebrate.

We are here tonight to let crime victims know that we have not forgotten their suffering and to re-commit ourselves to making sure that their memory lives on in our work.

Shakespeare found the words that capture the spirit of our event when he said, "praising what is lost makes the remembrance dear." Our observance tonight is a solemn one because we remember that victims have experienced loss. But by lifting up in our thoughts those who have suffered, we consecrate their memory and dedicate ourselves to honoring it through our work.

Ladies and Gentleman. It is a great honor for me to introduce the next speaker. For many years, Attorney General Gonzales has been a close and trusted advisor to President Bush. Before being appointed and confirmed as the nation's 80th Attorney General, General Gonzales served in the White House as the President's Counsel. While President Bush was Governor of Texas, he served as his General counsel and then as the Texas Secretary of State before being appointed as a Justice on the Texas State Supreme court.

Attorney General Gonzales has devoted his career to the public good. He knows that true justice includes compassion, care, and respect for crime victims. We are honored to have him with us this evening. Ladies and Gentlemen, please join me in welcoming the Attorney General Gonzales.

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