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Honoring the Veterans of the April 24, 2012 Eastern Iowa Honor Flight

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

Mr. LOEBSACK. Mr. Speaker, today, eighty-six Iowa veterans of the Greatest Generation have travelled to our Nation's capital. Accompanied by twenty-seven volunteer guardians who have also served our country in uniform, they have travelled to Washington, DC to visit the monument that was built in their honor.

For many if not all of the Iowans who will be here today, this will be the first time they have seen the National World War II Memorial. I can think of no greater honor than to be there when they see their memorial for the first time and to personally thank each of them for their service to our Nation. They truly are Iowa's, and our Nation's, heroes.

I proudly have in my office a piece of marble from the quarry that supplied the stone that built the World War II Memorial. That piece of marble, just like the memorial that it built, reminds me of the sacrifices of a generation that, when our country was threatened, rose to defend not just our Nation but the freedoms, democracy, and values that are the foundation of our great country. They did so as one people and one Nation. Their bravery and resilience still inspire us today.

The sheer magnitude of what they accomplished, not just in war but in the peace that followed has stood as an inspiration to every generation since. The Greatest Generation did not seek to be tested both abroad by a war that fundamentally challenged our way of life and at home by the Great Depression and the rebuilding of our economy that followed. But, when called upon to do so, they defended and then rebuilt our Nation. Their patriotism, service, and great sacrifice not only defined their generation--they stand as a testament to the fortitude of our Nation.

I am tremendously proud to welcome Eastern Iowa's veterans to our Nation's capital today. On behalf of every Iowan I represent, I thank them for their service to our country.

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