Statement regarding the passing of Ambassador Richard C. Holbrooke.
As Delivered by Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff , Washington, D.C. Tuesday, December 14, 2010
Deborah and I are deeply saddened to hear the news of Richard's passing. Our thoughts and prayers remain with Kati and the entire family.
I had been, to be honest, quite convinced of his eventual recovery, knowing as I do his deep distaste for losing. The truth is, of course, that Richard Holbrooke lost nothing.
He never lost time fighting for ideals he believed in. He never lost touch with the problems faced by millions of people he never knew. And he never lost hope that those same people could live in peace, security and safety. Indeed, he shared their vivid aspirations.
More critically, Richard never lost his sense of loyalty to country, to friends or to his family. He was as fiercely devoted to those he cared about as he was to his principles, even more so.
He was a big man in every sense of the word, a cherished friend and a true patriot. And Deborah and I will miss him dearly.
We will also miss him at the table as we finish this week the President's review of our Afghanistan strategy, a strategy he helped write and one he deeply believed in. That we have been making steady progress in this war is due in no small measure to Richard's tireless efforts and dedication. Few have done as much to achieve success; none have done more.
I know he would want our work to continue unabated. And I know we will all feel his bully presence in the room as we do so.
America lost one of her best today. But we have all gained from having had his force in our lives.