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Dedication of the World War II Veterans Memorial

Location: Washington DC


Mr. HAGEL. Madam President, I thank you.

AKAKA, HOLLINGS, INOUYE, LAUTENBERG-veterans of World War II. STEVENS, U.S. Army Air Corps, a veteran of World War II; WARNER, Navy veteran of World War II. All unique men, men of decency, men of character, plainspoken, humble and generous in spirit, noble in purpose.

Their lives have been about hope. They transformed a world and framed the future. This institution and the world have been touched by each one. We in the Senate watch them. We key off of them. We have learned much from these six distinguished Americans.

These men are not angels. We are not here to canonize them, but we are here to recognize one of the most unique times in the history of man. That time was not squandered by unique individuals who understood the great purpose and challenge of their time.
I am connected to this generation, as millions of Americans, not just because I had the privilege of serving with them in the Senate, my father was a veteran of World War II with the Army Air Corps in the South Pacific, the 13th Army Air Corps. He was a radio operator tailgunner on a B-25. He spent almost 3 years overseas.
If he were alive today, I don't know if he would have found a prouder moment than what happened in Washington last weekend and what is happening in the Senate today as we honor these unique Americans.
They lifted us up. They continue to lift us up. Yet they never asked for anything in return for their service. I congratulate and thank our distinguished colleagues.
I yield the floor.

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