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Mr. BUNNING. Mr. President, today I rise to pay tribute to Senator Ted Stevens, who will be laid to rest today at Arlington National Cemetery. Unfortunately, Senator Stevens was taken from us on August 9 of this year, but his legacy will live on through the countless lives he touched during his distinguished career in public service.
Senator Stevens will be missed by so many because of the tenacity he displayed fighting for his beliefs. This began when he volunteered for the Army Air Corps during World War II, where he supplied Chinese forces as
they defended their country from Japanese invasion. For his heroism, Ted Stevens received the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Air Medal.
Senator Stevens took this same tenacity to the Senate where he served the people of Alaska for over 40 years. It is largely because of Senator Stevens that many Alaskans gained access to clean drinking water and their children received a quality education. Finally, Senator Stevens fought to create an oil pipeline that put thousands of Alaskans to work and provided affordable energy for this Nation. These accomplishments are just a sample of the many issues that Senator Stevens championed during his long career.
By the time I came to the Senate in 1998, I knew Ted Stevens was an outstanding legislator, but over the next 10 years, I learned so much more that defined his character. I found that Ted Stevens was one of the most sincere members of this Chamber. No matter what the issue, I could always count on Senator Stevens to speak with frankness and honesty, two traits that are sorely lacking in the modern Senate.
I also learned that despite his dedication to the Senate, he always put family first. Senator Stevens was the father to six children, and although there is over 4,000 miles that separates Alaska from our Nation's Capital, he always made time for his wife and children. I realize my words are little consolation to his wife Catherine or the rest of his family, but I hope they know Mary and I are grieving with them as they cope with the loss of this model family man.
The Senate was blessed to have Ted Stevens as one of its Members. His countless accomplishments guarantee him a prominent place in the pantheon of American history. I was fortunate to have him as my colleague for over 10 years, but even luckier to have him as a friend.
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