This evening a lectern was set up in the Oval Office awaiting President of the United States to land on the South lawn at the White House for a ceremonial swearing in of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.
The Commander-in-Chief was flying back from Dover Air Force Base where he made an announced visit for the arrival of remains of the U.S. soldier killed early Sunday in Yemen during a raid on Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.
The Pentagon has identified the deceased as a Chief Special Warfare Operator William “Ryan” Owens, 36, of Peoria, Illinois. Multiple news outlets referred to Owens as a member of SEAL Team 6.
In his opening remarks for the ceremonial swearing in of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, President Trump first acknowledged the fallen soldier William “Ryan” Owens by stating: “Just returned from an amazing visit with a great, great family at Dover, and it was something — very sad, very beautiful. Ryan, a great man.”
The President then addressed Secretary Rex Tillerson:
“You understand that the job of our diplomats and the mission of the State Department is to serve the interests of the United States of America to make our nation safer, our country more prosperous, and our people much more secure. In that mission, you also understand the importance of strengthening our alliances and forming new alliances to enhance our strategic interests and the safety of our people.
Your whole life has prepared you for this moment, and you really have had a tremendous life — heading up one of the great companies of the world and doing it magnificently, absolutely magnificently. And I can say this is a man that’s respected all over the world before he even begins.
But as Renda said, now he’s beginning his big, big, and most important journey. This is where you were meant to be, right here, today, at this crossroads in history. It’s time to bring a clear-eyed focus to foreign affairs, to take a fresh look at the world around us, and to seek new solutions grounded in very ancient truths. These truths include the fact that nations have a right to protect their interests, that all people have a right to freely pursue their own destiny, and that all of us are better off when we act in concert and not in conflict. And there’s rarely been a conflict like we have in the world today — very sad.
I am excited for you. I am excited for your family. And perhaps most importantly, I am excited about our great country. Though you inherit enormous challenges in the Middle East and around the world, I do believe we can achieve peace and stability in these very, very troubled times,” President Trump concluded.
Secretary Tillerson expressed his thanks to President Trump for giving him this opportunity.
“I have a few folks in the room that are with me that have helped me over the last month to get to this point of confirmation. They represent a much larger cadre of people who have worked enormously long hours, tirelessly, helping me and guiding me through the confirmation process. And to them, I will always be eternally grateful for the sacrifice they’ve made of their time and effort these past weeks.
I’ve also received over the last month so many messages, letters, phone calls of best wishes, encouragement, prayers from family, friends, and colleagues who know me well. But I’ve also received an enormous outpouring of wonderful messages from people all over the country whom I do not know — words of encouragement and their prayers. And it’s their messages that are going to really stand in steadfast reminder to me as I enter the responsibilities of Secretary of State, that as I serve this President, I serve their interest and will always represent the interest of all of the American people at all times,” said Tillerson
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