Around the country, states, cities and municipalities have issued proclamations in recognition of National Peace Corps Week 2008. Especially noteworthy is that of California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger:
When President John F. Kennedy established the Peace Corps in 1961, he asked my father-in-law, Sargent Shriver, to become its first director and flesh out the details of the new organization. It was a tremendous challenge, but Sarge rose to the occasion and helped develop programs in fifty-five countries with more than 14,500 volunteers in less than six years. Because of the efforts of these two great men and all those who have had a role in shaping it, the Peace Corps has become one of America's most successful initiatives in advancing peace.
Simply put, the Peace Corps is America at its best. Throughout the world, Peace Corps volunteers are engaged in diverse projects that encourage goodwill and progress. From promoting HIV/AIDS awareness in Malawi to providing technical training in Armenia to teaching English in Paraguay, volunteers are involved in projects that make a real difference in people's lives. As men and women of action, these volunteers embody the concept of public service as envisioned by President Kennedy and my father-in-law.
Since its establishment, more than 25,000 Californians have answered the call of service to help others in 139 countries. They undertake their projects with enthusiasm and gain a better understanding of their host country's culture. And in turn, those helped gain a more informed perspective of the United States. It is a win-win situation and is part of the reason why the Peace Corps has become a big success.
Serving others is part of the fabric of our great nation, and I think this is what we see in programs like the Peace Corps. It is a perfect example of friendship in action, and I hope even more of our residents will consider joining the Corps. I encourage all Californians to join me in giving a big hand to all those who served and those currently serving in the Peace Corps. The Golden State is very proud of its volunteers. Their achievements are an inspiration to us, and I am proud to acknowledge their efforts.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER, Governor of the State of California, do hereby proclaim February 25 through March 3, 2008, as "Peace Corps Week." IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Great Seal of the State of California to be affixed this 25th day of January 2008.