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IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release No: 484-09
July 06, 2009

Statement by Secretary of Defense Robert Gates on the death of former Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara

Robert McNamara was a patriot and dedicated public servant who took on grave duties during a period of great consequence.  Having also held this post in a time of war, I have a special appreciation of the burdens and responsibilities he faced.  As America's longest-serving secretary of defense, he implemented visionary reforms that fundamentally changed the way this department does business -- reforms that long outlasted his tenure at the Pentagon.  With his keen analytical mind, Secretary McNamara never shied away from the most pressing national and international issues of his time -- above all, matters of war and peace, including his own decisive role in shaping that history.  My thoughts and prayers are with his family.