For the third consecutive year, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will host “Diplomacy at Home for the Holidays” on December 14 at 3:00 pm in the Diplomatic Reception Rooms at the Department of State. The annual event honors the service, dedication and sacrifice of U.S. Government employees and their families who endure long periods of separation due to assignments in hardship posts around the world. This year, the Office of the Chief of Protocol has partnered with Skype and Hallmark to help bring these separated families together over the holiday season using both traditional methods and new and innovative technologies.
Using Skype, families attending will be able to celebrate and re-connect in a meaningful way with their mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters and other loved ones who are serving at U.S. Embassies around the world. Skype will be set up on laptops outfitted with webcams around the Benjamin Franklin State Dining Room for families to use. In addition, a Skype Group Video call will be set up so that personnel around the world can view a live stream of the program hosted by Secretary Clinton.
During the event, children of U.S. diplomats serving unaccompanied tours, and children from the respective foreign embassies in Washington DC, will prepare Hallmark cards, recordable storybooks and art projects for those serving abroad. As an expression of gratitude, the completed projects will be sent to the recognized hardship embassies for display during the holiday season.
In honor of this event and inspired by the history and significance of the Diplomatic Reception Rooms, interior designer Erinn Valencich created holiday decorations to complement the existing collections and colors in each room. The decorations will be on display through the month of December in the Benjamin Franklin State Dining Room, Thomas Jefferson State Reception Room and James Monroe Reception Room on the eighth floor of the Harry S Truman building. Every day, the Diplomatic Reception Rooms play host to the most senior levels of American diplomacy and showcase our nation’s heritage to visitors from around the world. These stately rooms are maintained without taxpayer or government funds.
Click here to learn more about the Diplomatic Reception Rooms
Highlighted event video clips, B-roll, and background video content will be available via http://www.theNewsMarket.com/StateDepartment.
For more information, follow @StateDept and @ DipPartnerships on Twitter or contact Kamyl Bazbaz at Bazbazk@state.gov or 202-647-2681.