The ICAS Lectures


Remarks in Honor of Dr. Chong Moon Lee

John J. Hamre

ICAS Annual Liberty Award Dinner

December 3, 2010
Kennedy Caucus Room
Senate Office Building Capitol Hill, Washington, DC

Institute for Corean-American Studies, Inc.
965 Clover Court, Blue Bell, PA 19422

Biographic sketch & Links: John J. Hamre

Remarks in Honor of Dr. Chong Moon Lee

John H. Hamre
President & CEO
Center for Strategic and International Studies

Good evening, everyone. Itís a real privilege to be here. Thank you for inviting me to participate tonight.

Chong Moon is not a Washingtonian, and so I need to say something. Washington is really comprised of two kinds of people, and I use two words to characterize them. One word is "image" and the other word is "honor." And they both have something to do with light, with illumination. Far the bulk of the people in Washington are concerned about their image, and thatís about the light they shine on themselves, to make them look bigger, grander, more powerful, more noble. Itís a very self-oriented light.

There are a few people that Ė really itís different Ė itís the light they shine on others. And I use that word "honor" for these individuals. These are people of deep integrity. These are people that commit their lives to live to a bigger purpose than themselves.

Youíre an honorable man, Chong Moon Lee. I have seen that in many ways Ė with his own resources, he set about creating a program to bring young, talented entrepreneurs to Stanford for a program that was training innovation for the rising generation in Korea. I see it in the way heís taken his personal passion for art and converted it into a campaign of cultural awareness and tolerance. Iíve seen it in the way heís led a campaign here in Washington where heís brought the painful history of comfort women to the consciousness of the American people. Iíve seen it in the work heís done behind the scenes that led to the successful completion of the Free Trade Agreement, and we celebrate that tonight.

These are the things that are the product of an honorable man. Now, I want to thank ICAS for holding this event tonight. Yes, itís about Chong Moon Lee, but it is for us because we take events like this to hold up the image of someone around us who has really done great things to give us an inspiration to do better ourselves. We may not have Chong Moon Leeís gifts or resources, but we can use his inspiration to make it a better world, and I want to thank you for giving us that image tonight, and I want to thank you Chong Moon Lee for what you have been doing for all of us to give us a grander vision for what humanity could be.

Thank you.

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