We are saddened at the passing of Madeleine Albright, also known as “Madame Secretary,” as she was the first woman to serve as U.S. Secretary of State.

Madeleine Albright had a superb intellect and an iron will, and she gave women across the U.S. (and the world) a gift that you cannot buy: A belief that you can do and be anything you want in life.

We felt great pride and deep respect in the way that she handled herself on the international stage as she represented our (U.S.) interests. During her tenure as Madame Secretary, we will not forget how she gave the late Serbian president Slobodan Milošević (later convicted of war crimes) zero quarter in negotiations to help bring an end to the Bosnian War.

She was smart and tough, and as the first female Secretary of State, we honor her for breaking the glass ceiling and always inspiring us during Women’s History Month.

As elected officials and women, we love how she espoused the need for women in the public eye to stick together and to work together. We truly know the value of that approach, as it has brought us great friendships (and sisterships, too!) and so many valued moments of connectedness with female colleagues across all levels.

It is fitting for us that Madeleine Albright coined the phrase “There is a special place in hell for women who don’t help other women.”

Amen, sister! We love you and you will be sorely missed.

We offer our sincere condolences to the family and loved ones she leaves behind.

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