Photo by Ryan Arnst on Unsplash
via the NY Times:
She arrived on a ship called the SS America, an 11-year-old refugee fleeing tyranny for freedom. Nearly three-quarters of a century later, her adopted country bade farewell on Wednesday to Madeleine Korbel Albright, who in the course of a storybook life became a relentless evangelist for American ideals at home and abroad and an implacable foe of tyranny everywhere.
The little immigrant girl who survived Nazis and Communists before growing up to become the first female secretary of state was honored by presidents, cabinet secretaries, members of Congress, diplomats, generals, foreign leaders and dissidents at one of those only-in-Washington memorial services that was about this moment in history as much as it was about the dearly departed.
In death as in life, Ms. Albright evoked the eternal struggle between democracy and autocracy that flared again in her final days in a land not far from her own native country. Taking a respite from the momentous confrontation with a revanchist Russia in Ukraine, President Biden and other leaders gathered at Washington National Cathedral to summon her courage and conviction to steel themselves and the next generation for the challenges of their own time….
“She continued to issue blunt warnings about the dangers posed by authoritarianism and fascism with undeniable moral clarity,” Mrs. Clinton said. During the phone call, she said, Ms. Albright talked about the importance of rallying “the world against Putin’s horrific invasion of Ukraine and the urgent work of defending democracy at home and around the world.”
“With her goodness and grace, her humanity and her intellect, she turned the tide of history,” Biden said during the funeral service at the Washington National Cathedral.
The President said, “She always had a knack for explaining to the American people why it mattered to them that people everywhere in the world were struggling to breathe free.”…
“It was not lost on me that Madeleine was a big part of the reason NATO was still strong and galvanized, as it is today,” Biden said.
The President said Albright remained a “nexus of the foreign policy community” in the decades after she left office.
Albright, Biden said, was “always, and I mean always, on top of the latest developments. Always speaking out for democracy, and always the first to sound the alarm about fascism.”