I am delighted to send best wishes as you celebrate the more than 200,000 Americans who have answered the call to service first issued by President Kennedy and Sargent Shriver in 1961.
For 50 years, Peace Corps volunteers have been ambassadors to the world. They are often the first American in their host community and the first American that many have ever met. They share their generosity, creativity, and skills in ways that changes lives and deepens understanding across cultures. I have seen firsthand the enthusiasm and commitment of volunteers around the world. I will never forget meeting volunteer Muriel Johnston in Morocco, who, at age 86, reminds all of us to dream big and follow our hearts.
Many of my colleagues at the State Department and at USAID began their careers in the Peace Corps. It gave them the foundation to bridge cultural divides and inspired them to think about what we can accomplish together.
Around the world, countless individuals have the opportunity to pursue their dreams and live up to their potential because a Peace Corps volunteer changed their lives. The world has moved on since 1961, but the agency’s mission to promote world peace and friendship is timeless. On behalf of the State Department and USAID, I would like to thank all Peace Corps volunteers, past, present and future for their commitment to peace and friendship. Thank you all, very much.