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Embassy Press Release

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

July 23, 2010

MEDIA INQUIRIES:

Abduljalil Ghafoory, Director of Media Relations

(202) 483 6410 ext. 8002

ghafoory@embassyofafghanistan.org

website: www.embassyofafghanistan.org

 

AFGHANISTAN SHOWS GRATITUDE

TO RETIRING GENERAL STANLEY A. MCCHRYSTAL,

FORMER COMMANDING GENERAL OF ISAF & US FORCES IN AFGHANISTAN

 

Photo credited to Linda Davidson from The Washington Post

 

WASHINGTON, DC – H.E. Ambassador Said T. Jawad attended General Stanley A. McChrystal’s retirement ceremony this evening at Washington, DC’s historic Ft. McNair in order to deliver Afghanistan’s State High Medal of Wazir Mohammad Akbar Khan and to convey a parting message from the Minister of National Defense of Afghanistan.

Ambassador Jawad began his remarks by congratulating General McChrystal on his “immense accomplishments, wearing the uniform of this great nation to combat terrorism, preserve security here in the United States, and fight for peace and freedom in my country, Afghanistan.” Ambassador Jawad went on to assure General McChrystal that he will always be remembered in Afghanistan, saying that "We will never forget the sacrifices that you and those under your command have made to make Afghanistan safer for our children."

 

 

Ambassador Jawad  read excerpts from a letter from General Wardak which said in part:

“From and Afghan perspective, you lit a beacon of hope for peace and prosperity of our Nation. You served with unprecedented distinction and dedication, above and beyond the call of duty in the interest of the United States, ISAF and specifically us Afghans. Your undeniable contribution to the stability and security of my war-torn country deserve more than any compliment or commendation. You have laid the foundations for our final triumph, and we will spare no effort and sacrifices to achieve it.

You represented the US military and its General Officer corps with honor and dignity, demonstrating the highest degree of leadership, courage, and soldiering.  Like great warriors before you, I am confident that as history is written, tour achievements, endeavors, life and legacy will be remembered and revered. You will be remembered for generations and remain forever in our hearts and minds.”

 

Ambassador Jawad presented  Gen. McChrystal with the State High Medal of Wazir Mohammad Akbar Khan conferred on him by President Hamid Karzai, a medal named for the hero who succeeded in 1841 in preserving Afghanistan’s freedom. The citation accompanying the medal reads as follows:

“General Stanley A. McChrystal, Commander of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), a citizen of the United States, has made comprehensive efforts and showed distinct leadership and readiness to reduce civilian deaths, prevent unlawful home searches, refer detainees to the Afghan justice system, improve the quantity and quality of the Afghan National Security Forces, and enhanced close coordination in order to fight terrorism and achieve stability in Afghanistan.”

In parting, General McChrystal sincerely thanked the people of Afghanistan and summarized their character as well as his own.

My thanks, also, to the leadership and people of Afghanistan for their partnership, hospitality and friendship. For those who are tempted to simplify their view of Afghanistan and focus on the challenges ahead, I counter with my belief that Afghans have courage, strength and resiliency that will prove equal to the task.

"Caution and cynicism are safe, but soldiers don’t want to follow cautious cynics. I’d do some things in my career differently, but not many. I believed in people, and I still believe in them. I trusted and I still trust. I cared and I still care. I wouldn't have it any other way."

 

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