Thank you Hillary.
We thank you for eating all those airline meals, for visiting 112 countries and traveling 956,733 miles for our country.
Most of all, we thank you for demonstrating once and for all, that women have a seat at the tables where the tough decisions are made about war and peace, life and death, and national security.
Whenever we saw you shaking hands with a head of state, surrounded by a lineup of dark suits and ties, we were proud to see you there. Whenever we heard you speak from the podium, we admired your clarity, your well-chosen words, your confidence and you total control.
Yes, I admit, we also looked at your hair, your jewelry and the color and cut of your pants suits. But we did not linger on outward appearances for very long. Unlike the time when you campaigned for the Democratic nomination for president, no one made a fuss anymore whether you wore your hair in a pony tail on a bad hair day, or whether it loosely framed your face on a good day.
The difference between then and now is that in the last four years, we got to know who you are -- not just a two dimensional cardboard figure that stands on a sidewalk to be photographed, but a three-dimensional, intelligent, tough and caring human being. We were able to appreciate your courage, your discipline, and yes, your brilliance.
Were you different as the third female Secretary of State? No and Yes. You did your job, following in the footsteps of other excellent Secretaries of State. But you added a new dimension. You brought attention to one half of the world which had not been fully recognized -- the girls and women who often suffer in obscure silence. Female trafficking, equivalent to female slavery, millions of murdered missing girls and women, masses of women who have been raped by men who use rape is a tool of war. We see these women now.
Thank you for having made them visible. For beginning to tell their stories.
We will miss you. We will miss that bright green, blue or red jacket in the crowd, we will miss your calm and serious voice, and we will miss knowing that through you, we, the women of America, have a voice.
Follow Madeleine M. Kunin on Twitter: www.twitter.com/MadeleineKunin