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Mr. LUGAR. Mr. President, what a pleasure it is to be with my colleague Pat Leahy on this very special day. It was a great coincidence that the 13,000th vote and the 14,000th vote should occur this afternoon, but what a joyous moment to be with my friend on this experience.
I once again thank the leader Mitch McConnell of our party and Harry Reid the majority leader of the Senate for their very generous remarks about both Pat and me.
I join Pat in extolling the virtues of those who have made such a difference in our lives. My wife Charlene, our 4 sons, our 13 grandchildren, our great-grandchildren--these are very precious people who have made such a difference in my life and made it possible for me to have good health and spirits throughout all this time and to enjoy thoroughly this experience.
I would just add to the remarks of my colleague that tomorrow we hope to have a little celebration in the Agriculture Committee room.
Long ago, at the beginning of our careers, Pat and I were situated at the end of the long table that stretched the length of the Agriculture Committee room. Our chairman, Herman Talmadge of Georgia, was at one end with Senator Jim Eastland of Mississippi. I am not certain what the rules of the Senate were at that time, but I recall that frequently both were enveloped in smoke at the end of the room, and it seemed to me that they were, in fact, developing whatever the policy was going to be and making decisions. As a matter of fact, sometimes they simply arose, and Pat and I were left to ponder really what had occurred.
So it was appropriate that our two portraits should be put at the end of the table, at the entry to the Agriculture Committee room, where we once sat as the most junior members and eventually ascended to the chairmanship, having great experiences together in farm policy and the ability to help feed the world.
I am grateful, likewise, for Vice President Biden's presence today because he was a wonderful partner in the Foreign Relations Committee for so many years. I was not aware that the Vice President would be in the chair. I told him I was somewhat embarrassed because my 13,000th vote finally eclipsed his votes, and he ranks now 11th. Joe was aware of that. He had in the chair today the rankings 1 through 11. So we are sort of all situated and still love each other in the process.
I thank all Senators for the honor that has been accorded for this opportunity to address the body. This has been a great experience of my life, and this has been a very special moment.
I thank the Chair.
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