Defense, Diplomacy and Development
The U.S. Diplomacy Center created an exhibit in the Exhibit Hall of the Department of State highlighting the theme of Defense, Diplomacy and Development, which Secretary of State Clinton introduced on her first day in office. This exhibit utilized an aquisition from a retired Foreign Service Officer to explain how the functions of Defense, Diplomacy and Development interact in our nation's foreign affairs.
The Story behind the Plaques
Bernard “Bernie” Woerz served as Principal Officer at the U.S. Consulate General (CONGEN), Curaçao, Netherlands Antilles from 1992-1995, developing a close relationship with the Navy when ships made ports of call. He always inquired of inbound ships about Project Handclasp, an official Navy project. Mr. Woerz knew the local community well and always had worthy recipients in mind for the donations.
At the end of their time ashore, a ship’s plaque and a letter from the Captain were presented to Bernie in thanks for the cooperation, hospitality and friendship he extended on land. The Navy has presented plaques like these as expressions of appreciation to helpful Posts throughout the world.
In 2009, Bernie donated these naval plaques to the US Diplomacy Center. Although each plaque appears staid and formal, each embodies the remarkable synergy that can result from the interaction of defense, diplomacy and development.
For further information and/or questions on this exhibit, please email the USDC Senior Curator.