It is an honor for me to be here and offer the official welcome of our City.
Global Volunteers has been coming to Xi'an for the past 9 years.You have sent us over 1100 volunteers on over 100 teams and have taught at hundreds of schools and many hundreds of thousands of students over this time.Our newspapers, radio and television stations, both locally and nationally have told millions of Chinese citizens about your efforts many times. We are inspired by your example. You are famous in this part of the world, and it is indeed an honor for me to give the official welcome.
This tradition of the official city welcome dates back to the days of the Silk Road caravans when the city fathers would gather here to welcome their arrival, offer them safe refuge from their long, perilous journey and to extend the hand of generous, world famous Chinese hospitality.Several years ago, we decided to revive this ancient tradition.In 1998, American President Bill Clinton and his family were honored by the same welcome ceremony on this very spot.
However, tonight we are honoring average citizens from America and other countries who have come to Xi'an to donate their time and skills and to help us celebrate the achievements of our mutual friendship over the past 9 years.Just as you will cross the drawbridge into the ancient walled fortress of Xi'an this evening, so too have you created a bridge of friendship between our two nations by your journey from far away.
May your stay with us be filled with an enriched understanding of our nation.
May you have wonderful memories of what you see and learn while you are here.
May you enjoy the happiness that comes from renewing old friendships, and
May you delight in making new friends as well.
Welcome to you all and thank you.