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Ranger Recognition Ceremony

Claudia McMurray, Assistant Secretary for Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs
Ihusi Hotel, Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo
July 15, 2008

On behalf of the United States, I want to thank you all for coming today to recognize a very special team – the rangers of the Institut Congolais pour la Conservacion de la Nature.  These 600 men put their lives on the line every day to protect the parks of the Democratic Republic of Congo and their unparalleled wildlife and biodiversity.

Many of these courageous rangers, and even some of their family members, have lost their lives in the line of duty. We have gathered here today to commemorate them and to honor their memory.  It is my honor to present this Tribute of Appreciation to the rangers on behalf of the people of the United States.

Once again, thank you to all the rangers serving today in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and thank you to the families that support and encourage these rangers. You are an inspiration to all of us. Your victories, and your sorrows, are ours as well.

 A ranger of Virunga National Park receives an award of recognition from U.S. and Congolese authorities during a ceremony in Goma, North Kivu Province, Democratic Republic of Congo on July 15, 2008. [State Dept. Photo]
A retired ranger from the Virunga National Park was honored for his years of service in protecting the wildlife of Virunga National Park. [State Dept. Photo]
The rangers of the Institut Congolais pour la Conservacion de la Nature and their families are honored in a ceremony on July 15, 2008 hosted by the U.S. Department of State and officials of the Congolese Ministry of Environment, and provincial authorities of North Kivu. [State Dept. Photo]

 



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