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Students attend Daniel Pearl Memorial Lecture

Julia Torres

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A crowd of men and women dressed to impress gathered in Schoenburg Hall at University of California Los Angeles to listen to former Secretary of Defense and Central Intelligence Agency director Leon Panetta speak at the annual Daniel Pearl Memorial Lecture.

“Journalists must have the courage and bravery to take risks essential to reporting the truth, (be) willing to pay the ultimate price; threatened, kidnapped, and murdered because they only wanted to do their job,” Panetta said during the March 30 lecture.

The series of lectures honor the work of journalist Daniel Pearl. During this year’s lecture, Panetta stressed the risks journalists take every day to get information and truth. With over 400 journalists killed in the line of duty, they work in a dangerous field. Panetta spoke of Daniel Pearl, calling him a “symbol of hope.”

After Panetta gave his speech, Los Angeles Times editor and journalist Jim Newton asked Panetta questions about his life being apart of the government and writing his memoir about his experiences, “Worthy Fights: A Memoir of Leadership in War and Peace.”

Dr. Judea Pearl, Daniel Pearl's father, and his wife Ruth Pearl (far right) stand with The Pearl Post Managing Editor Ilana Gale and Prestige Yearbook staff writer/photographer Julia Torres at the Daniel Pearl Memorial Lecture in March.

Dr. Judea Pearl, Daniel Pearl’s father, and his wife Ruth Pearl (far right) stand with The Pearl Post Managing Editor Ilana Gale and Prestige Yearbook staff writer/photographer Julia Torres at the Daniel Pearl Memorial Lecture on March 30.

“I see a Washington that’s dysfunctional and in gridlock,” Panetta said. “(Washington) doesn’t want to work together. It doesn’t want to face the major important issues facing this country.”

Panetta’s memoir dives into the politics and ethics of the country and explains the changes he’s seen in Washington through 50 years of trials and tribulations. At the lecture, Panetta criticized the government frequently, and shared things the government needs to change for a better future.

“There’s a great quote from Theodore Roosevelt he said, “ When faced with a tough decision the best thing you can do is make the right decision, the next best thing you can do is make the wrong decision, the worst thing you can do is do nothing.” Panetta said.

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The student news site of Daniel Pearl Magnet High School in Lake Balboa, CA
Students attend Daniel Pearl Memorial Lecture