World Refugee Day/ McDonald’s Award

World Refugee Day/ McDonald’s Award
Berlin, June 20, 2017
CDA Kent Logsdon

Last year, McDonalds Deutschland was honored with  one of the U.S. State Department’s highest commendations — the Award for Corporate Excellence in recognition of its programs to help refugees integrate into German society and the German economy.  There was an official ceremony at the State Department last January.

Today on World Refugee Day, we thought it would be appropriate to hold a second award ceremony here at a McDonald’s restaurant.  We thought it was more important to see firsthand how McDonalds is helping refugees find  a new life and new opportunities.  In face of the challenges and hardships that refugees face, the dignity of a job and the empowerment of learning a new language are invaluable.  History proves that if simply given these kinds of opportunities, refugees can thrive, contribute, and give back to their new homes.

This is indeed engrained in the history of my country.  Over the years, millions of refugees came to America with dreams of a better tomorrow.  Their stories have enriched the diverse mosaic that is America today.  The same thing is happening here in Germany. Over the past decades, millions of refugees have been welcomed here. They have enriched and strengthened German society- and the latest wave of refugees is doing the same.

And I commend McDonalds for its generous, constructive, and forward-thinking contributions.  It is also an honor and a pleasure to meet some of your employees.  You have shown strength, courage and perseverance.  Your lives and your accomplishments are  a powerful example of the human spirit to endure, hope, and achieve.  This is what we honor and commemorate on World Refugee Day.