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Public Statements

Pearl Harbor

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

Mr. McCONNELL. Madam President, as the majority leader has noted, today is the 70th anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. I have certainly had the opportunity, and many Members of the Senate may have as well, of visiting World War II era veterans when they come to Washington on what are called the honor flights, where veterans groups raise the funds to get these World War II vets up here to see the World War II Memorial. It is a great inspiration to see these members of the ``greatest generation'' who, indeed, saved America during World War II.

I remember in particular talking to an elderly gentleman--obviously they are all elderly at this point--who was at Pearl Harbor that day, and his describing the horror of the experience. So whether these World War II veterans served in Pearl Harbor or in Europe or in the Pacific theatre, we certainly remember their extraordinary contribution to saving this country, and today in particular.

For our parents' generation, they always remembered exactly where they were when they heard about the attack. For most of us, we remember exactly where we were when we heard about the Kennedy assassination, that moment that is seared in your memory of some extraordinary event; and, of course, for younger people, the 9/11 attack. Everybody remembers exactly where they were, and millions of Americans saw the second plane go into the second building in real time.

But today we remember the attack, and we express our admiration and respect for the ``greatest generation.''

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