Remarks of Laurie Robinson, Assistant Attorney General
Office of Justice Programs
At the Missing Children's Day Awards Ceremony
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
Thank you, Jeff. It's an honor to be here with you and the Attorney General – our other guests and Members of Congress – to recognize these extraordinary men, women, and young people.
I first want to thank Jeff and the terrific staff of OJJDP for their hard work in organizing this ceremony. And I want to add my appreciation to everyone else who made this event possible.
And I'll echo Jeff's thanks to my longtime friends Ernie and Patty – and it's so good to be here with both of you – and of course, the Attorney General, whom I'll have the pleasure of introducing in just a moment.
You know, we owe our award recipients today an enormous debt of gratitude. As many of you can attest, there are very few jobs more demanding than those in law enforcement and prosecution. I can't think of any other civilian job that involves such high-pressure decision making and scrutiny – and in the case of front-line law enforcement, that's more dangerous.
And I'd add that, probably, no job is more emotionally taxing or offers a greater test of one's faith in human goodness. Law enforcement officers and prosecutors see the most broken parts of broken lives, which is one thing when the one who suffers is an adult, but an altogether different thing when the victim is a child.
But these men and women have managed to channel their shock and outrage into a sense of duty. And because of their actions, these horrible perpetrators have been brought to justice – and young children have been saved – removed from danger. I know I speak for every one of us here when I tell our awardees how grateful I am for their service.
I'm also pleased that my agency – through Jeff's office, OJJDP – supports the Internet Crimes Against Children task forces, the AMBER Alert program, and so many other efforts aimed at protecting children, not to mention the fabulous work that Ernie Allen and the NCMEC staff do every single day. We're supporting people like those being recognized today, and I'm so proud to be part of the outstanding work they do.
Now, I'm very honored to introduce our keynote speaker.
I'll tell you – there's no bigger advocate for children than Attorney General Eric Holder. First of all, he's a father of three – so he understands, on both a personal and professional level, the dangers kids face and the need to be vigilant in our child protection efforts.
One of his signature issues is reducing the incidence and the impact of children's exposure to violence. This has been a long-time commitment for Eric Holder – going back to his days as Deputy Attorney General in the 90s. Even before that – as a prosecutor and superior court judge here in D.C. – he made cases involving children a high priority. We're extremely fortunate that someone so dedicated to the safety of our children holds the job of Attorney General. It's my pleasure to introduce him now – the Attorney General of the United States.
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