As an American, it was a proud moment for me when I watched members of Congress stand before a crowd on Capitol Hill last week and thank United Nations Peacekeepers for putting their lives on the line in the name of global peace and stability. U.S. Representatives Jared Polis (D-CO), Mike Honda (D-CA), and Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-TX) eloquently noted that the sacrifices of UN peacekeepers mean greater national security for us all.

Their words were delivered at the launch of our 4th Thank A Peacekeeper campaign. The reception was attended by over 200 people, including Ambassadors and other policymakers and their staffs in Washington. Our guest of honor was Herve Ladsous, Under Secretary-General of United Nations Peacekeeping Operations. Mr. Ladsous is in charge of the 120,000 UN Peacekeepers in 17 operations across four continents. Despite his exceptionally busy schedule, he made time to speak at our reception to commemorate the sacrifices of UN peacekeepers world-wide and thank the U.S. for its ongoing support.

Mr. Ladsous, also joined by John Negroponte, former U.S. Ambassador to the UN, and Senator Tim Wirth, UN Foundation President, made remarks echoing the importance of a strong US-UN relationship. Furthermore, he thanked the U.S. Congress for its support to UN Peacekeeping and highlighted the need for the UN and U.S. to work together in support of global peace and security.

“UN peacekeeping deploys in countries and situations that no single country could or would want to deploy to,” said Mr. Ladsous.

Further, among the many stirring stories that emerge from UN peacekeepers on the ground each day, Mr. Ladsous and these members of Congress highlighted some notable illustrations. For example, the Representatives remarked that it is peacekeepers who are credited with distributing the voter registration materials that help build democracy in the Democratic Republic of Congo; it is peacekeepers who escort women to safely gather needed firewood in Darfur; and it is peacekeepers who–day in and day out–protect civilians from extreme violence and brutality South Sudan. Without their presence in these regions and beyond, the spread of violence and terror would be unimaginable.

Help us echo Mr. Ladsous and these members of Congress in giving thanks for the hard work of the men and women in blue helmets. Thank a UN Peacekeeper today: Send a letter here!