Good afternoon, everyone.
There is a popular saying in China-- "Good is rewarded with good." This expression is the condensed wisdom gathered from thousands of years and millions of human events.We believe it has always been true and it will always be true.
We are here today to apply this principle.We are here to dedicate this monument to people who did good things for the Chinese people.We erect this monument so that what they did will be remembered by our people today and by future generations to come.We chose red Chinese granite to represent the lives and soul of the Chinese nation.Upon this granite the names of the Global Volunteers are forever chiseled and carved.This reminds us of the way that the lives of these volunteers have forever changed the heart and soul of people in China.
This monument bears the names of every Global Volunteer to serve in China from Team 1 in 1996, up through the present day.It does not matter how many times they volunteered or how long or short they served.We know that in many cases even one event, on a single day, was often the catalyst that forever changed the course of life for some of our people, young and old alike.
This monument will stand not only as a memorial for all to know what good things were done by so many Americans for the Chinese people, but it will also serve as a reminder to all Chinese, especially the young people of China, that they must work to carry forward this torch of friendship forged through volunteer service.It is fitting to entitle this the "Sino American People's FRIENDSHIP Monument" because friendship and mutual understanding is the natural result or outcome of the Global Volunteers service program.
Like any good foundation made of concrete and stone, we can say this is but the beginning of what we are building in this country.We can say that these are corner stones of the Global Volunteers service program in China.They made a good start and created a good foundation for future volunteers yet to come.It is our hope that upon this foundation of friendship more and more names will be added, growing to another 1000, 10,000, and million upon million.
We believe that as these numbers grow, as this friendship and mutual understanding expands, it will draw the Chinese and American nations closer to each other.We will therefore begin our future interactions from a basis of greater and greater trust, and will increasingly resolve our differences more easily.
In the century that lies before us, I see a time when China and the United States are the two most powerful nations on earth, and that what we have together accomplished today, may grow and have future significance beyond our greatest dreams.