TRIBUTE TO SENATORS -- (Senate - November 20, 2008)
Mr. ALLARD. Mr. President, I wanted to take a moment to say how much I have appreciated the friendship of Ted Stevens. He and his wife are a wonderful team.
Since I was elected a short--to him--12 years ago, it has been truly enjoyable to work with Ted on the numerous western issues before this body. Often, those issues correspond to Alaska issues, working for a strong military, missile defense, sound land management practices, energy development. He has been very helpful to Colorado.
I have particularly admired his work for our Nation's military. Ted and I worked together, and worked hard, on missile defense. He was an appropriator, I was an authorizer. I should also say, he was a titan of the Senate, I was a freshman Senator. So the workload was a little unfair, in my favor. But we, along with many others, got the missile defense established. I am delighted that after such a rocky fight the system is now a cornerstone of not only our national defense, but of our NATO relationship as well. European militaries understand the value of what we can do, and what protections we can afford them. Ted saw this, he knew what the results would be, and he shouldered the burden, fought the fight, and dragged the system into reality.
I have had the pleasure of helping Ted raise money for his conservation efforts on the World Famous Kenai River. I have been fortunate enough to join him on the river. I had the even greater fortune to win his annual tournament a couple times. Some rivers are just lucky for some fisherman, and while I might wish my lucky river is a little closer to home than Kenai, AK, being lucky on a river famous for its prize salmon is not so bad. And what he is doing for that river, his conservation efforts, is remarkable. I have noticed a difference between my first visit and my last.
My wife Joan and I wish Ted and his wife Catherine the best. God Bless.