Truth Is My Sword Volume I - Collected Speeches in the Public Arena

by Bo Hi Pak

Greetings from the Chain of the Washington Times

May 16, 1991

In the following speech, Dr. Pak reviews nine tumultuous years in the life of The Washington Times, which grew to become a major conservative voice in the nation's capital despite the odds against it. The speech also honors outgoing Editor-in-Chief Arnaud de Borchgraue and his replacement, Wesley Pruden. Dr. Pak gave the following remarks at the Ninth Anniversary Banquet of The Washington Times, May 16, 1991, in the Washington Times Ballroom.

Distinguished colleagues, ladies and gentlemen, as I look out and see so many familiar faces and so many friends, I feel at home here at The Times because, as much as I may travel, Washington is my hometown and The Times is home.

It is also so fitting on the occasion of our ninth anniversary to meet in this magnificent conference room. Do you remember when this was an empty hall, stained with ink from the old presses? Who could imagine its transformation? We could, and we built it.

In the same way, think back with me to our birth nine years ago. The country was just climbing out of our generation's deepest recession. Our nation's honor was still scarred with the wounds of Vietnam and the Iran hostage situation. Communism was still advancing with a vengeance, having recently taken Afghanistan, Nicaragua, and Angola.

And The Washington Post was the lone voice in our nation's capital.

Who could imagine that the economy would enter its longest growth period in its history? Who could imagine that patriotism would replace national humiliation? Who could imagine the worldwide collapse of communism so symbolically embodied with the dismantling of the Berlin Wall?

And who could imagine a Washington Times so influential, so innovative, and so strong that executives at The Post actually worry about it?

We could, and we did it. And though it has taken us nine years, they were years of investment and action. Years that saw us participate in the rebuilding of America. Years that saw us help redefine the shape of the world. Years that saw us win awards and influence presidents. Years that prepared us for this day.

Today we stand on a strong foundation but we are faced with a great challenge. Newspapers everywhere are struggling and we are no exception. No one but Reverend Moon could have been as generous and patient in these last nine years of subsidy funding. But the time has come for financial independence. We must find a way to stand on our own.

I am proud of Ambassador Han, Mr. Joo, and The Times' leadership. Rather than accept a diminished product, you have determined to take an aggressive step forward and come out with weekend products. Rather than ask for additional funding, you have taken the resources from within your existing operation, and I know that has not been easy and it has meant substantial sacrifice from everyone.

But no victory ever comes without a price, and I believe that your sacrifice and your hard work will be vindicated with success-success as The Times grows into its 10th year and success as our loyal readers will finally be able to make that long-awaited phone call to The Post to cancel their Sunday subscriptions.

We face an exciting future. It will bring changes. One of the changes that I announce tonight with mixed emotions is that our untiring editor-in-chief will be leaving that position for new horizons and new responsibilities. Arnaud de Borchgrave has ably and even brilliantly led this paper for six tumultuous years.

He had the courage to join us at a time when even our supporters were expecting our immediate demise. He believed in The Washington Times and everything it stood for. He believed that Washington needed a second, sane, and strong voice. A voice that would counter the liberal nation-blasting view of The Post. A voice that would speak with truth and freedom and righteousness, even in countries where those virtues were not allowed. A voice that would speak with a strength far beyond its circulation numbers because that strength came from its powerful convictions.

People accuse me of being so dedicated to my mission that I nearly work myself to death. But I must tell you Arnaud de Borchgrave beat even me in that area. I never had a bed in my office. I believe that Arnaud never left his office for his first three years here.

I must also thank his lovely wife, Alexandra, for her gracious sacrifice during that time. She supported Arnaud not only in his thankless hours but also served at his side as Times' hostess. If Arnaud did leave it was to spread The Times' message throughout the corners of the world and he became an ambassador of truth from Moscow to Asia.

During his tenure here Arnaud has created a legacy of power, legitimacy, and journalistic excellence that has elevated the paper to worldwide prominence. And it is to this worldwide level that Arnaud will be moving.

Although Arnaud will no longer be involved in the day-to-day running of the paper as editor-in-chief he will remain connected to The Times and The Times' family. In his mission as editor-at-large, Arnaud will continue his travels throughout the world being a true ambassador and worldwide spokesman of our Times.

The world has changed a great deal, but it is a mistake to think that the battle is over. Although we have glimpsed a taste of a global spring with the fall of communism last year, the victory is far from won. The recent Gulf War also reminded us that truth and goodness have many enemies, and The Times must continue to be a voice in the confusing time of searching for that new world order.

As Arnaud carries those words throughout the world, we must continue the battle here. The baton of leadership will be smoothly passed because it will go to those you already know.

Wes Pruden has long been the soul and conscience in the newsroom. That will be unchanged and he will take on the full responsibility of being the leader on the editorial side. Especially as we face the new challenge of the weekend editions, it gives me great confidence to know that the team that has brought us this far will take us over this next hill. Wes, aided by Josette Shiner, and all the other editors have my full confidence, as I know they have yours.

I want to also clarify one more thing. I never want any of you to mistake my involvement in other projects or my travel to other lands as a diminishing of my interest in, involvement with, or support of The Washington Times. As I said before, this is my home and no matter how far anyone goes, they always return home.

So, on behalf of Reverend Moon, Ambassador Han, Mr. Joo, and myself, I want to thank Arnaud and Ron Godwin for their leadership throughout these nine years. This is a celebration of our nine years of accomplishment but, more importantly, another new beginning. We will have a Saturday and Sunday edition before we close our 10th year. What an accomplishment!

Good luck and God bless all of you. And God bless The Washington Times. Thank you very much.

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