Twenty-one years ago today, a genocide began that would claim the lives of more than 800,000 Rwandan men, women, and children and mark the beginning of one hundred days of horror for Rwanda’s people. Today is a day to commemorate those who lost their lives, to honor the courage of those who risked their lives to save others, and to grieve with the Rwandan people. It is also a day to reaffirm what our common humanity demands—that we stand together to prevent mass atrocities and continue to do all we can to make good on the pledge of “never again.” We also renew our commitment to help finish the task of bringing to justice those who inflicted such tragedy upon such a beautiful land.
While we remain haunted by the genocide, we also draw hope and inspiration from the people of Rwanda, who are building a brighter future. We commend their determination to continue to make important progress toward healing old wounds and lifting people out of poverty. The United States will continue to work tirelessly in partnership with Rwanda and with other nations to help prevent such atrocities and advance dignity and peace for all.