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Public Statements

Rebuilding Our Own Nation

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

Mr. HIMES. Mr. Speaker, I make a point every day to look in The Times at that black box, usually on page 7 or 8, that lists the names of those young men and women who have given their lives in Afghanistan.

Yesterday, it struck me, as we go into Christmas, that there were seven names on that list--six of them under the age of 25. Two of them, Ken Necochea and Derek Simonetta, were only 21 years old. I wonder if they'd ever bought a drink in a bar or in the country in which they were serving. On the front page of The New York Times: U.S. Intelligence Offers Dim View of Afghan War.

I say all this because this time last year I was in Afghanistan, watching the good work that these young men and women are doing--building roads, building markets, building a nation--and reflecting on the fact that this is a nation that, for 1,000 years, has spit out foreigners as sport.

As we go into Christmas and I think about the kids in my city of Bridgeport, whose schools have leaking roofs, whose highways are crumbling, whose rails are coming apart, I wonder, Mr. Speaker: Is it not time that we start rebuilding this Nation, not one that seems to not want us there?

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