LETTER: U.S. diplomats vital to global leadership
To the editor:
As someone who retired from the Department of State after 37 years of service, and as a former resident of Cloquet, I am proud to have been a member of the U.S. Foreign Service. However, I'm sometimes surprised at how little is generally known about America's diplomats. We serve at 270 posts around the world, often in hard and sometimes dangerous places, working to protect America's people, interests and values.
In 1996, the U.S. Senate designated the first Friday in May as "American Foreign Service Day." It is on this day that members of the Foreign Service around the world and here at home come together to recognize and celebrate the thousands of people who commit their lives to serving the U.S. abroad and the impact their work has on us all. This year, that day is May 4. This week is therefore an ideal time for anyone interested in what diplomats do and why it's important to learn more about the 16,000-member strong U.S. Foreign Service.
I consider myself lucky that my colleagues are hard at work around the world, constantly seeking to promote U.S. policies, level the playing field for U.S. businesses, open markets for U.S. agriculture and achieve wins for America. With all the threats to U.S. security and prosperity out there, I hope my fellow citizens appreciate the U.S. Foreign Service and agree that, in order to maintain American global leadership, we must field a top-notch diplomatic team, or risk forfeiting the game to our adversaries.
Ronald D. Flack
Cloquet High School Class of 1952
Foreign Service of the United States of America