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Public Statements

Expressing Sense of Congress That a Minute of Silence Should Be Observed Annually on Veterans Day

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Date:
Location: Washington, DC


EXPRESSING SENSE OF CONGRESS THAT A MINUTE OF SILENCE SHOULD BE OBSERVED ANNUALLY ON VETERANS DAY -- (House of Representatives - October 06, 2004)

Mr. SMITH of New Jersey. Mr. Speaker, I move to suspend the rules and agree to the concurrent resolution (H. Con. Res. 195) expressing the sense of Congress that a minute of silence should be observed annually at 11:00 a.m. on Veterans Day, November 11, in honor of the veterans of all United States wars and to memorialize those members of the Armed Forces who gave their lives in the defense of the United States.

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Mr. SMITH of New Jersey. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of H. Con. Res. 195, legislation expressing the sense of Congress that a minute of silence should be observed annually at 11 a.m. on Veterans Day, November 11, in honor of the veterans of all United States wars and to memorialize those members of the Armed Forces who gave their lives in defense of our country.

Mr. Speaker, this resolution recounts a particularly moving event from World War II. On February 3, 1943, a German U-boat torpedoed the American transport ship, the USAT Dorchester, sinking it off the coast of Greenland. Among the nearly 1,000 American soldiers aboard the Dorchester were four chaplains whose selfless acts of courage have left a distinguished legacy.

The four chaplains, Reverend Fox, Rabbi Goode, Reverend Poling, and Father Washington worked to help save their fellow soldiers. They distributed life jackets until no more were available. Then the four chaplains removed their own life jackets and gave them to four other soldiers.

True to their faiths and to their fellow men until the end, they were last seen arms linked in prayer on the hull of the ship as it went down.

The sacrifice of the four chaplains stands as a testimony to all heroic veterans who have fought for the United States. A stained glass window on the third floor of the Pentagon's A-ring honors these brave Americans.

Mr. Speaker, H. Con. Res. 195 would provide the people of the U.S. with an opportunity to honor the veterans of all the United States wars and to memorialize those members of the Armed Forces who gave their lives in defense of our Nation.

Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.

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Mr. SMITH of New Jersey. Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.

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