I had the honor of joining many Kansas veterans on Tuesday at the Robert Dole VA Medical Center in Wichita to honor the 69th anniversary of the day that "will live in infamy" -- the attack on Pearl Harbor. During the early morning of December 7, 1941, more than 2,000 Americans lost their lives within minutes and twenty-one ships of our U.S. Pacific Fleet were sunk or badly damaged during the Japanese surprise attack.
During the ceremony, I had the special privilege of presenting service medals to two survivors of the attack, Navy veterans Arthur Dunn and Paul Aschbrenner, who never received the medals they had earned. These men were serving together on the USS Oklahoma during the Pearl Harbor attack and later served together on the USS Louisville.
After the ceremony, I had the honor of joining Director Sanders of the Dole VA for the ribbon-cutting ceremony at the new Prosthetics Department. By installing adaptive equipment in vehicles, veterans can once again learn to drive; with the help of the home improvement program, they can maneuver within their homes with less difficulty; and with hearing assistance and speech therapy, veterans can more easily communicate with their friends and family.
There is no group of people I hold in higher regard than our nation's veterans. They have dedicated their lives to serving our country and sacrificed for the freedoms we enjoy today. Caring for them is our nation's utmost responsibility.
Thanks to James Denison, Veterans of Foreign Wars Service Officer, for his work organizing the Pearl Harbor ceremony and thanks to Director Tom Sanders for inviting me to participate in the ribbon-cutting ceremony.