AGOA architect McDermott knighted in Lesotho
Jim McDermott, US congressman and doctor, has added another title - knight.
McDermott, D-Wash., was knighted by the King of Lesotho during an Aug. 22 ceremony at the Royal Palace in Maseru, his office said Friday.
"His Majesty Letsie III, by the Grace of God, Sovereign of the Kingdom of Lesotho, is pleased by these presents to appoint Jim McDermott Knight Commander of The Most Dignified Order of Moshoeshoe" reads the official citation.
According to Lesotho government officials, Most Dignified Order of Moshoeshoe recognizes "distinguished leadership, particularly in the political sphere."
The knighthood acknowledges the Seattle representative's leadership on AGOA, the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act, which has enabled Lesotho to become the number one exporter of apparel to the Unites States from Africa. McDermott authored AGOA and it has directly created 50,000 jobs in Lesotho, his office said.
During the official ceremony, King Letsie III personally draped a symbolic ribbon across McDermott, as the congressman's wife, Therese Hansen, and Lesotho officials looked on.
McDermott said he appreciated the recognition.
"I represent Seattle, Washington, named for Chief Si'ahl, the inspired leader of the Duwamish and Suquamish Native American Tribes," McDermott said. "A century ago, the great tribal chief said: 'We did not weave the web of life. We are merely a strand in it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves.'"
McDermott added: "I believe Chief Si'ahl was talking about how we respect and treat the environment and how we respect and treat one another. Through legislation like AGOA, we've made a positive difference in Africa and in the lives of countless Africans. On behalf of Seattle and our nation, we've been a force of good in the world and that is something I am very proud of. "
In the past President Clinton was similarly honored in Lesotho.