In accepting the first Thomas S. Foley Award for Distinguished Public Service, former Secretary of Defense and retired general James Mattis on Tuesday called on those in the audience to reject political division and cynicism for this country.

“I trust some of you young folks in the audience will leave tonight refusing to adopt the childish practices you see too often on our television screens. Rather, resolving to embrace the courage, the conviction, the civility and the dignity of Tom Foley,” Mattis said.

At the center of Mattis’ message was for Americans to reject disunity.

“At home, we see Americans engaging in contempt for each other and seemingly unaware of the delight they create in Bejing and Moscow — hoping Americans will turn cynical and lose their selfless spirit,” he said.

It was a message WSU senior and Foley Institute intern Nicholas Wong called “inspiring” for someone who wants a career in public service.

“Mattis very much spoke to the idea of just being human and how it doesn’t really matter at the end of the day, we all want largely the same stuff,” he said. “It felt like he was semi-directly talking to me. It means a lot to hear from a person of his position to not be cynical when it comes to our country.”

Read the full story:
The Spokesman-Review
Yahoo! News