Governor Gary Locke’s Remarks
Medal of Merit Ceremony
July 9, 2003

Good afternoon.

It is a privilege to take part in today’s ceremony.

Today we honor four outstanding individuals:

·A Nobel Prize winner and a pioneer in cancer research

·The former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives and Ambassador to Japan

·A noted writer and filmmaker

·A tireless advocate for our state’s veterans

What an impressive and diverse group of people! Three of whom I have known personally and consider friends.

But these four distinguished award-winners have one very important quality in common.

Each has devoted a lifetime to serving others and helping build a better, more enlightened state and nation.

I want to acknowledge the other Medal of Merit Committee members who joined me in selecting today’s honorees.

They are:

·Lieutenant Governor Brad Owen

·Secretary of State Sam Reed

·Washington State Supreme Court Chief Justice Gerry Alexander

·Speaker pro tem John Lovick.

The Medal of Merit recognizes exceptional conduct in serving the people of our state.

This is our state’s highest honor.

Only 18 people have received this award, and today’s awards will be the first in five years.

The winners have been leading figures in education, government, medicine, the arts, the law, business, agriculture and the media.

Medal of Merit award winners are trailblazers in citizenship.

Our honorees do more than carry the torch of community and civic duty.

They selflessly and tirelessly devote their lives to advancing that torch, and making sure it blazes brightly for years to come.

The Medal of Merit recognizes those who are the soul, conscience and practitioners of progress and humanitarianism.

On behalf of the people of Washington state, I want to express our profound collective gratitude for the remarkable contributions of each of our 2003 Medal of Merit recipients.

We are humbled by their dedication to others, proud of their achievements, and inspired by their example.

Thank you.

Access Washington