American Heroes Week at Interior

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Hi, I’m Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke.

This week, the Trump Administration is taking the time to celebrate American
heroes from the U.S. military, law enforcement, and first responders.

It’s important to remember that real heroes don’t wear capes.

At Interior, we have more than 35-hundred uniformed law enforcement personnel
who keep our communities and our visitors safe.

Like Bureau of Reclamation security officer Ivan Hernandez, who courageously dove
into the water in an attempt to save the life of a trapped motorist whose vehicle
crashed in the lake.

And just last month, in Washington, D.C., U.S. Park Service helicopter pilot
and crew provided a life-saving medivac flight during the attack on Members of
Congress during baseball practice.

At Interior, we also have more than 45-hundred people who help battle wild fires
in command centers and on the front lines all the way across the west.

Our wildland firefighters battle the blazes from air to ground. The most
highly-trained firefighters – smoke jumpers – even drop into the center of the
fires by parachute.

Many firefighters also have desk jobs throughout the year and are called upon to deploy
across the country at a moment’s notice.

And to honor the men and women who have served in the U.S. military, the
National Park Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and other bureaus maintain
and manage dozens of war memorials, historic sites, and battlefields.

These historic grounds stretch from World War II’s fabled Midway Island in the
Pacific to the streets of Boston and Philadelphia where our independence was

Interior also maintains the Arlington House, which overlooks more than 300,000 heroes and their military families,  – including 360 Medal of Honor Recipients. They've all laid at rest since since 1866.

You know as a former military commander myself, I’m often overcome with gratitude and
love of my country when my wife and I visit the grounds of Arlington.

Heroes just aren’t on the Hollywood movie sets, they're all around us. They run into
the danger when everyone else is running away.

At Interior, we’re dedicated to honoring their service and sacrifice every day.

This week, take a moment to pay tribute to our heroes in our community. Work
with a service organization to clean up a memorial, or just shake the hand of a local hero and say "Thanks." 

On behalf of everyone at the Department of the Interior, thank you for your time.

May God bless America, and may God bless the women and men who defend her.

Last edited 7/26/2017

Not all heroes wear a cape. At Interior, employees across the Department sometimes find themselves called to act in extraordinary circumstances. Interior employees step up to the challenge their job presents, often going above and beyond what is expected of them. In this video Secretary Ryan Zinke salutes the everyday heroes who -- through their determination and selflessness -- risk their lives in their jobs managing public lands, waterways, resources and visitors.