Governor Gary Locke’s Remarks
Washington State Patrol Cadet Trooper Graduation
October 16, 2002

Good afternoon. Congratulations to the 88th trooper graduating class.

The 41 men and women we honor today have completed an arduous course. Several months of intense study and hard work at the academy. More hard work on field training trips. Sleepless nights. Stressful days. Soul searching. Gut checks.

Well, you’ve made it. And we are all very proud of you. Welcome to the Washington State Patrol.

Today you join a very proud tradition. This tradition began more than eighty years ago, back in 1921. Six brave patrolmen kick-started their Harleys, and the Washington State Patrol was born.

Today you join a tradition of duty, service, and public safety.

Duty, service and safety. Simple words with profound implications.

Each of you today answers a sense of duty. No one can say exactly where this sense of duty resides, only that it is deep within certain people: people who place the needs of society above their own needs.

Such are the men and women of the Washington State Patrol—and such are our 41 graduating cadets this afternoon. Every one of you answers that call of duty that comes from within. And we are all humbly grateful that you do.

You are also drawn to public service, and we’re grateful for that too. Because of your career choice, we already know a lot about you. You are the ones who always want to help. You are the ones who are not afraid to get involved. You are the ones who find satisfaction in assisting others. You are the ones who want to make a difference. I assure you, you will make a difference. Every day, one person and one situation at a time. You will make a difference.

Our state counts on you to help keep us safe. Today you join Washington’s premier law enforcement agency. You will be safeguarding our highways, investigating crimes, and helping to see that justice is served. You will help keep our state safer and saner. We are grateful for that as well.

Duty, service, and public safety. Not many jobs offer such a challenge—and such a noble endeavor.

To the family members here today, congratulations! If you think back, this probably explains a lot. Now you know why these graduates were always so drawn to those bow ties. And why they were always so good at back seat driving—excuse me, at suggesting improvements to your driving.

I’m sure you are all very proud these graduates. I want to congratulate you, too, for doing such a great job of supporting and encouraging these new troopers.

What a wise person once said applies to our graduates: “You are who you are because of someone else.” In this audience are some of the people who helped today’s graduates become troopers. To all of the family members, loved ones and friends, on behalf of the citizens of this state, thank you for all you have done to mold and shape our new troopers. You are rightfully proud.

To our new troopers: congratulations and good luck. Be careful out there. Be safe. And be proud—because we sure are. God Bless you, and God Bless the Washington State Patrol.

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