THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
STATEMENT BY THE PRESS SECRETARY
on Posthumous Honors For Frasure, Kruzel and Drew
President Clinton announced his decision to award posthumously Ambassador Robert C. Frasure, Dr. Joseph C. Kruzel, and Colonel S. Nelson Drew, USAF with the Presidential Citizens Medal for their exceptionally distinguished contributions in the service of their nation.
The President made the announcement during his remarks today at the memorial service for the three officials who died Aug. 19 when their armored vehicle slid off a road in the mountains outside Sarajevo. The Presidential Citizens Medal was established for the purpose of recognizing citizens of the United States of America who have performed exemplary deeds of service for their country or their fellow citizens.
President Clinton asked the nation to remember Ambassador Frasure, Dr. Kruzel and Col. Drew as extraordinary Americans who made reason their weapon, freedom their cause, and peace their goal." Each was honored for their careers of public service, most notably for their contributions to the development and implementation of U.S. policy initiatives aimed at ending the fighting in Bosnia by creating a lasting peace and relieving human suffering.
Ambassador Frasure was regarded within the foreign affairs community as "a man for all crises." He was instrumental in engineering the withdrawal of Russian troops from Estonia, winding down the Angola conflict, facilitating Namibia's independence and shepherding Ethiopia out from under the Mengistu dictatorship. As Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Canadian Affairs, and then also as the administration's Special Envoy for former Yugoslavia, he took on modern diplomacy's most difficult challenge -- ending the bloodshed and bringing peace to the Balkans.
Dr. Kruzel's deep understanding of the issues and his mastery of the parties' negotiating positions, made him the acknowledged leader inside the Department of Defense on the Bosnian conflict. He was also the leader of the Department on the two other critical issues affecting European security -- NATO enlargement and the reintegration of Central Europe with the west after the forty-five year Cold War. He led our efforts to reach out to the nations of the former Warsaw Pact in their quests for democracy and regional stability, and was the Defense official most responsible for NATO's Partnership for Peace initiative which has done so much to bring about this transition.
Col. Drew was a principal architect at the National Security Council of the United States' efforts to end the war in Bosnia. With vision, determination and skill, Col. Drew applied both his military and diplomatic expertise in seeking a peaceful solution to that bitter conflict. He also was critical to the development of the Partnership for Peace initiative for NATO and was the primary architect of the Combined Joint Task Force concept adopted by NATO for peacekeeping operations. Through his deep dedication to the uniform he wore and the country he served so selflessly, Col. Drew made a lasting contribution to the design and execution of American national security policy in the post-Cold War era.
In recognition of their selfless service to country displayed by their outstanding professionalism, Ambassador Frasure, Dr. Kruzel and Col. Drew will also he awarded posthumously the highest peacetime medal for their agency: The Secretary of State's Distinguished Service Award for Ambassador Frasure, the Department of Defense Medal for Distinguished Public Service for Dr. Kruzel, and the Defense Distinguished Service Medal for Col. Drew.
In honor of the three dedicated men who lost their lives in pursuit of peace in the former Yugoslavia, the President, together with the Department of State, the Department of Defense and the National Security Council, have arranged for the establishment of the Federal Diplomatic Family Assistance Fund. The Fund will provide educational and other assistance to children whose parents have died in the course of performing diplomatic duties on behalf of the U.S. government.
Contributions may be sent to the Federal Employee Education and Assistance Fund (FEEA), Suite 200, 8441 West Bowles Ave., Littleton, Colo. 80123. Contributions should be made out to the FEEA with an indication that they are for the Diplomatic Assistance Fund. If desired, contributors may express a preference that their donations benefit one or more of the individual families.