About the National Archives

Welcome Remarks National Crime Victims’ Rights Week Awards Ceremony (2018)

Good afternoon and welcome to the National Archives.

It is an honor for us to serve as your host for this afternoon’s awards ceremony, and I am glad to recognize…


Attorney General Jeff Sessions 

Alan Hanson, Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General, Office of Justice Programs 

Darlene Hutchinson, Director, Office for Victims of Crime

And the guest speaker today Detective Mark Slavsky of the Wheatridge, Colorado, Police Department 


I would also like to acknowledge the awardees, family members of victims of crime, and allied professionals from across the United States…

This week, President Donald Trump said in his National Crime Victims’ Rights Week Presidential Proclamation that, “we reaffirm our commitment to alleviate the burdens of crime victims, support those who serve these victims, and reduce the number of future victims by assisting law enforcement to keep our communities safe. Together, we can ensure a safe and prosperous future for all Americans.”

The National Archives is the home of the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights––known collectively as the Charters of Freedom. These sacred documents were created to protect the rights of all Americans. And I can’t think of a better setting for today’s ceremony—than in the place where those rights are preserved and celebrated upstairs in our Rotunda.

Our mission is to collect, protect, and provide access to the most important government records. We make the records available so that the American public can hold its government accountable and learn from our past. We keep about two to three percent of all of the records created by the government each year. But they are the ones with long-term historic or legal interest.

Our records start with the Oaths of Allegiance signed by George Washington and his troops at Valley Forge and go all the way up to the Tweets that are being created at the White House as I am speaking. It is a collection of 15 billion pieces of paper and parchment, 40 million photographs, miles and miles of film and video, and more than 5 billion electronic records—the fastest growing record form. These are not static numbers: every day we take in––or accession––more records. Our holdings include the Victims of Crime Act, signed by Ronald Reagan in 1984.  This act was created to help victims of crime. And it established the Crime Victims Fund. I hope you will take the opportunity to see some of our historic documents while you are here today.

At the National Archives, history comes to life through our documents. Each record, large or small, is a representation of a greater story, many of which are still being told today.

Thank you for coming today and for choosing our historic building for this important event.