U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), a senior member of the Environment and Public Works Committee, issued the following statement after the Senate passed S. Res. 174, a bipartisan measure he co-sponsored to designate June 20, 2013 as "American Eagle Day" in celebration of the recovery of the American Bald Eagle:
"The bald eagle is an American treasure and inspiring symbol of our national sovereignty and precious freedoms as American citizens. I hope all Americans will take time to ponder the beauty of this majestic creature, the powerful ideas it has come to symbolize, and the ways we can all work together to increase bald eagle populations in the United States. I am particularly proud that, once again, the Senate has recognized the outstanding work of the Auburn University Southeastern Raptor Center. Since the 1970s, Auburn has been leading the way on raptor rehabilitation, education and research, and just last month, the Southeastern Raptor Center released its first locally found bald eagle. Preserving bald eagles and other raptors--as Auburn is doing--is one way we can pay tribute to our common heritage as Americans and help maintain a healthy eagle population for the enjoyment of future generations."
This week, the Senate passed Senate Resolution 174 to recognize June 20, 2013 as American Eagle Day. Sessions is an original lead co-sponsor of this resolution and was joined in introducing this resolution by Senators Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Richard Durbin (D-IL), Diane Feinstein (D-CA), Thad Cochran (R-MS), Brian Schatz (D-HI), Pat Roberts (R-KS), and Bob Corker (R-TN). Sessions had a lead role in a similar resolution last year.
In recognition of Auburn University's unique work on bald eagle recovery, Sessions worked to ensure recognition of the Southeastern Raptor Center in this annual Senate resolution. Since the 1970s, the Southeastern Raptor Center has rehabilitated and released thousands of birds of prey. The Center also holds educational programs aimed at raising awareness about the state of the species, and its eagles have famously maintained an iconic presence at the University's athletic events. In May of 2013, the Center released an American bald eagle that, according to the Center, was "the first locally found and rehabilitated bald eagle to be released by the Raptor Center."