About the National Archives

Welcome Remarks for the National Crime Victims’ Rights Week Awards Ceremony

McGowan Theater, National Archives Building, Washington, DC
April 12, 2019 

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…

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein

Matt Dummermuth, Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General, Office of Justice Programs 

Darlene Hutchinson, Director, Office for Victims of Crime

And the guest speaker today former Attorney General Edwin Meese


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 renew our commitment to supporting victims as they heal from suffering and rebuild their lives. We also express our gratitude to all those who support Victims and who hold offenders accountable.”

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 there is no better setting for today’s ceremony—than in the place where those rights are preserved and celebrated upstairs in our Rotunda.

The National Archives started in 1935 with a mission to collect, protect, and preserve the records of the U.S. Government. And, most importantly, to make the records available so that the American public can hold its government accountable and learn from our past.  We are the final destination of the most important records of the United States Government.

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, 43 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.

Thank you for coming today and for choosing the National Archives Building for this important event.