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Judge Pellegrino Speech for
Employees Recognition Ceremony
May 15, 2003

I am told that those of you who have elected early retirement collectively have given to the branch and the State of Connecticut - 2,234 years of service. That is a lot of years of service. Think about that -- that is more than two millenniums!

Numbers are just numbers. The important things are the stories behind the numbers. It is how you assisted the citizens of Connecticut, whether it was helping a pro se litigant fill out a form, keeping the courthouse clean and safe or helping a crime victim get through a trial.

We have no numbers about the individuals for whom your intervention may have made a difference or the parents who finally got their child support payments through your efforts. Nor do they summarize the work you did with families where parents are going through a divorce, or the guidance you may have provided to youths going through the juvenile court system.

You have completed transcripts in record times, supervised and trained multiple employees, implemented programs to improve the Judicial Branch, managed our records and provided invaluable administrative assistance to judges and the Bar. In various positions, you have helped run all of our busy courts, from the start of the case to its completion. You have stood at the counter in the clerk's office, answering question after question. You have supervised thousands of defendants on probation, helped prepare our publications, interpreted court proceedings and helped get out our Judicial decisions.

If walls could talk, these are the stories we would hear. In short, every one of you in one way or another has improved the Judicial Branch as it seeks to fulfill its mission and vision.

And it's been quite a ride over the years. You have faced challenges that those who proceeded you could not have imagined the computer, e-mail and the Internet.

You evolved gracefully and efficiently with these changes, helping to ensure that the Judicial Branch was well prepared for the 21st century. And along the way, as the Branch grew, so too did you.

It was Herman Hesse who once said: "Knowledge can be communicated, not wisdom." As you embark on a new direction, your wisdom is perhaps your greatest ally and the Branch's greatest loss. It's easy for anyone to answer who, what, where, and when. But you learned the answers to how and why, and the Judicial Branch is forever better for your common sense and talent. It's ironic that when you cam in, we taught you. Now, you teach us.

So on the behalf of the Judicial Branch, I say thank you. Thank you for all you have given and enjoy the days ahead. Do the things you were unable to do because work interfered. Smell the roses and enjoy yourselves. You earned it and when you are in your hammock, I hope you will look back and think of us waiting to join you. I hope you don't forget us since we will not forget you.

 
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