In parts of the world where the voice of freedom is muted or muffled, you have stood at the front lines of the struggle for a free media. At times, you risk your lives, or even sacrifice them. Earlier this year, we lost a Pakistani correspondent who, despite multiple threats on his life, dedicated himself to giving his audience fair and accurate reports from his corner of the world. Today, we pay tribute to Mukarram and other members of the VOA family whom we have lost over the years.
We are proud of you and grateful for your work. Time and time again, you defy foreign governments that seek to stifle your signal, piercing through Iron Curtains and electronic ones, for the sake of illuminating the enduring strength of our democratic values. So as you mark your 70th anniversary, I congratulate all of you who have built this worldwide network into what it is today. Thank you for being the Voice of America.