WASHINGTON — Heritage Foundation President Kay C. James today issued the following statement on the death of Donald H. Rumsfeld:
“Donald Rumsfeld led the Pentagon with strength, creativity, and resolve during two tenures as defense secretary, the second of which came during one of the most challenging periods for the U.S. military in recent history.
“Don was both consummate professional and stalwart patriot. His thoughtful determination in a time of great need set the tone for protecting America against new threats in the 21st century.
“His loyalty and leadership were crucial to confronting the rise of radical Islamist terrorism. He made mistakes in both Afghanistan and Iraq, as he later admitted, but he never shirked the immense weight of responsibility imposed by duty to his president and fellow citizens.
“For this reason alone, after Secretary Rumsfeld’s retirement in 2007, The Heritage Foundation was privileged to present him with the Clare Boothe Luce Award, our highest honor for contributions to the conservative movement.
“Heritage has lost a great friend and ally in the cause of protecting America, the Illinois heartland has lost a proud native son, and our nation has lost one of her staunchest defenders.
“Our hearts and our prayers are with his wife, Joyce, and their three children. May the peace that passes all understanding comfort and console them during this difficult time.”