From the President’s Office – 8/3/2012
This was a special day in the nation’s capital. I just returned from the Mass of Christian Burial for Admiral Watkins at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. It was a remarkable experience to see so many people from the communities that the Admiral affected over the years. Representatives of the Navy, the ocean sciences community and Congress and the Administration clearly showed the impact the Admiral had on them personally and on their institutions. For me, the service brought back so many memories I had in working and interacting with such an extraordinary person from the early days at the Consortium for Oceanographic Research and Education, the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy and the Joint Ocean Commission Initiative. I learned a great deal from this honorable, decisive, compassionate and deeply religious man who demonstrated the highest level of personal integrity. His loyalty and dedication to this country and the ocean was second to none. As former Senator Warner stated, “No one loved the sea more than Jim.” He was a good friend; he had an important effect on my life. I am sure there were many other people at the service today who felt the same. We are all better people for having had the Admiral in our lives. To me, he was the quintessential definition of leadership and principle inculcated in being an exceptional mentor.
I wish you an enjoyable weekend.