The Foreign Service Journal, June 2020

THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL | JUNE 2020 47 AFSA NEWS AFSA NEWS THE OFFICIAL RECORD OF THE AMERICAN FOREIGN SERVICE ASSOCIATION Due to the evolving situation of the COVID-19 pandemic, please check for the most up-to-date information. All events are subject to cancellation and/or rescheduling. June 17 12-2 p.m. AFSA Governing Board Meeting July 3 Independence Day: AFSA Offices Closed July 15 12-2 p.m. AFSA Governing Board Meeting August 19 12-2 p.m. AFSA Governing Board Meeting August 28 Deadline: Nominations for Sinclaire Language Awards September 7 Labor Day: AFSA Offices Closed September 16 12-2 p.m. AFSA Governing Board Meeting September 18 Fifth Annual Foreign Service Night at Nationals Park CALENDAR Remembering Foreign Service Day In 1996, the U.S. Congress set aside the first Friday of the month (May 1 this year) as Foreign Service Day. The day was designated in recog- nition of the men and women who have served, or are now serving, in the U.S. Foreign Service, and to honor those who have given their lives in the line of duty. Because of the COVID- 19 pandemic, the American Foreign Service Association and the State Department were not able to host their usual Foreign Service Day activities this year. But AFSA President Eric Rubin offered a video message to AFSA members, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo shared a written message as a May 1 Department Notice. Every year, Amb. Rubin said, “we gather for a memo- rial ceremony to commemo- rate those we have lost and to honor the contributions to national security of today’s Foreign Service. We unveil the names of those added to the memorial plaques in the State Department lobby dur- ing the previous year.” “This year’s commemora- tion will be different,” he said. “We will not lay wreaths at the memorial walls. In the midst of a pandemic that knows no national boundar- ies, we will have to remem- ber in our own private ways the men and women of the Foreign Service, past and present.” Secretary Pompeo’s mes- sage reads: “Each year on Foreign Affairs Day, we reflect on the history of our foreign affairs corps—a cohort long familiar with fortitude in the face of adversity. This year’s greatest global challenge, confronting the COVID-19 pandemic, has demanded expertise from all around the world, from logistics and coordination to epidemiology and political tradecraft. Your work, along with that of our international counterparts, has once again demon- strated the critical role of a dedicated cadre of foreign affairs professionals.”  Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) also shared a mes- sage. “Today we celebrate Foreign Service Day, where we recognize the good work of the men and women of America’s Foreign Service,” he wrote on Twitter. “These are people who are representing our great country overseas in capitols around the globe, at AFSA/JOAQUINSOSA The AFSA Memorial Plaque in Main State’s C Street lobby. AFSA President Eric Rubin speaks to AFSA members during a Foreign Service Day video. embassies and consulates.” “I’m very proud myself to be part of a Foreign Service family,” he added. “My father was in the Foreign Service, and my mother was his full partner in that effort. We lived in Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka and Turkey, repre- senting our great country, flying the flag of the United States and trying to promote democracy and human rights around the world. That’s why American leadership is so important, and the men and women of the Foreign Service are the leading edge of that effort.” n VIDEOCAPTURE