Attorney General Merrick B. Garland Delivers Remarks at the Combined 70th and 71st Annual Attorney General’s Award

Remarks as Delivered

Thank you, Deputy Attorney General Monaco. Let me just say I have a big smile on my face. You guys are all so terrific. And it is so terrific to have all of you here.

It is wonderful to be able to present the Combined 70th and 71st Annual Attorney General’s Awards Ceremony.

The Attorney General’s Awards Ceremony provides a welcome opportunity to celebrate the outstanding work of our colleagues to advance the Department’s mission. It also gives us the chance to reflect on that mission, which I repeat so often that you must all now know it by heart:

Our mission is to uphold the rule of law, to keep our country safe, and to protect civil rights.

This ceremony is a little like the Justice Department’s version of the Oscars — but with a much better band and a not particularly funny host. Like the Oscars, the AG Awards has a history of running a little long. Today, we are giving out about twice as many awards as usual.  So, I am going to be very brief.

Today, we recognize more than 600 DOJ employees and law enforcement partners for your extraordinary contributions to further the Department’s mission. 

Each of today’s recipients has served with distinction, and in so doing, you have enabled the Department to advance its work on behalf of the American people. Your exceptional leadership, heroism, and dedication have benefited people and communities all across the country. 

The accomplishments of this year’s recipients speak for themselves.

Among the honorees are attorneys, investigators, law enforcement officers, victim-witness specialists, support staff, and others who have made tremendous sacrifices to continue the Department’s tradition of excellence, independence, and the pursuit of justice.

Your work has made our country safer, strengthened the rule of law, secured justice for the most vulnerable in our society, helped children with disabilities access critical services, protected consumers, and made DOJ a better place to work.

Though your roles are varied, all of you share a deep commitment to public service. 

And your extraordinary accomplishments represent just a small fraction of the outstanding work being done by the 115,000 public servants of the Justice Department.

The work of this Department is not easy — and the people who do it come face-to-face with some of our greatest dangers and with people experiencing their most difficult hours. 

To all of the DOJ employees who work every day on behalf of this country, thank you for your service.

To all of the family members who have supported your loved ones through their careers, thank you for your sacrifice. We know they could not do their work without you.

And to all of today’s awardees who have gone above and beyond to advance the Department’s mission, thank you for exemplifying what it means to choose a career of public service.

No award could adequately honor the courage and commitment you demonstrate every single day.  

It is an honor to work with you.  

I am proud of you.

I am now pleased to turn the program over to the Assistant Attorney General for Administration.

Thank you.

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