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Ronald Reagan Administration: Statement on the Murder of Leamon (Ray) Hunt by Terrorists

(February 21, 1984)

The cowardly murder of Ray Hunt is another painful reminder of the reality of terrorism. In the 1980's terrorism is more and more used by governments as a weapon of policy. It is a challenge to all of us and to everything we believe in.

American personnel abroad are targets because they represent us. America is a target because those who commit such crimes are directing their fire at our country's most basic interests, policies, and values. Ray Hunt was a target because as head of the multinational force and observers in the Sinai, he was helping to implement the peace treaty between Egypt and Israel. Our role in helping bring peace to the Middle East is one of our country's proudest achievements; for this very reason it is bitterly opposed by the enemies of peace.

There is another message here. Ray Hunt exemplified the best in America. He represented in his career the talent, dedication, and decency of so many other men and women who do their country's work abroad — helping others, keeping the peace, serving their country.

We remember our gallant soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines who made the supreme sacrifice throughout our history defending freedom. We owe our gratitude as well to the thousands of Americans who serve in a civilian capacity — in the Foreign Service or as attaches or international civil servants or in other essential jobs — because they, too, are on the frontlines. Many of them, too, have taken the risks or paid the price of being an American.

They did it for us, and we should never forget it.

Sources: Public Papers of the President