I am disappointed that I cannot be with all of you this evening, but you have the best of the Shrivers present -- my wife, Eunice.
I want to thank Gay Vance for hosting this reception in her home and for the active interest which Gay has taken in "The National Center on Poverty Law."
I am delighted that Amy Vance who shares her Father's love of the law is here tonight.
I was fortunate to know Cy Vance in college and law school, and through him, to meet Gay. I have been a friend and admirer of each of them, individually, and as a couple, for over 50 years. No one could have achieved the success which Cy did in the public and private sector without the steadfast support of a loving and wise spouse such as Gay. Cy was a truly gifted man, -- but even more important, -- Cy was a man of integrity and principle. He was dedicated to his country, but he had the courage to speak up and to resign from high office when he could not support its policies. Cy Vance's integrity and courage is something all of us, especially those of us in the legal profession, should not only admire but also emulate each day of our lives.
I want to thank each of you for being here this evening. The Board of Directors of “The National Center On Poverty Law” has honored me by changing “The Center's” name to "The Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law." In doing so, “The Center” also remembers and pays tribute to all those who worked to create a National Legal Services Program for the Poor, including a President, Lyndon Johnson, who backed us every step of the way.
I am especially pleased that through “The Center” my name will be used to strengthen our country's commitment to social and economic justice by connecting the history and talent of the past with the innovation and talent of the future. I am proud that so many over the years have stayed the course, and that numerous new and energetic young people have joined the effort to shape the United States’ role in this world as a leader for justice and human dignity.
That is why I am happy that you have gathered together to support “The Center.” We must speak out for equal justice for all -- Justice which we and the national government have created for all.
I do not hesitate to say that I believe our country, and each of us, has a chance to create “A New World,” a world the likes of which has never been in any history book, “A New World’ which has never been proposed by any nation in the written, or even unwritten, history of the entire world. Everyone in this room has a chance – a real honest-to-God, down-to-earth, day-by-day chance – to transform our country, and the 21st Century, through access to equal justice! That is the challenge we face, --
To create a better and unprecedented “New World.” “A New World” created in the 21St Century, for God, for all countries, and, for all human beings.