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Public Statements

World War II Memorial Dedication A Success

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

Mr. SMITH of New Jersey. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to congratulate and recognize the staff of the American Battle Monuments Commission and the World War II Project for all their efforts in ensuring a very successful dedication of the World War II National Memorial: General P.X. Kelley, Chairman, American Battle Monuments Commission; Major General John Herrling, Secretary, American Battle Monuments Commission; Mr. Kenneth Pond, Executive Director, American Battle Monuments Commission; Mr. Mike Conley, Associate Executive Director, National World War II Memorial Project; Mr. Bob Patrick, Director, National World War II Memorial Dedication; Mr. Dick Couture, Director, Marketing and Member Services, National World War II Memorial; Ms. Betsy Glick, Director, Communications, National World War II Memorial Project; and Mr. Barry Owenby, Project Executive, National World War II Memorial Project.

These individuals, along with their staffs, worked untold months to ensure that the weekend of May 29, 2004, will live on in the hearts of the veterans and families of the "Greatest Generation."

More than 150,000 people attended the May 29, 2004, dedication ceremony of the first national memorial built to honor all of the Americans who served their country during World War II. Millions more were able to watch the dedication through live television feeds to the national broadcasting networks, the History Channel, and C-Span.

Additional events throughout the weekend drew large crowds who gathered for reunions and celebrations. A four-day National World War II Reunion held in conjunction with the Smithsonian Institution Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage drew over 300,000 people, and three two-hour ceremonial and musical performances held at the MCI Center were sold out. A Service of Celebration at the Washington National Cathedral was well attended by military and civilian clergy and World War II dignitaries.

Mr. Speaker, the enthusiasm, performance, and commitment of all the staff at the American Battle Monuments Commission, the National WWII Memorial Project, and the National WWII Memorial Dedication do not go unnoticed, and I thank them for their exceptional work on behalf of our Nation's veterans.

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