Monday, February 08, 2010

Remarks on the Death of John Murtha

Assorted remarks from the inbox:

Chris Doherty:

Scranton Mayor Chris Doherty today released the following statement on the passing of Congressman John Murtha.

“Pennsylvania lost one of its giants today. Congressman Murtha was one of the last great titans of the United States Congress who had the experience and the record of accomplishment to earn the respect of both the most conservative and progressive of his colleagues.

“From his heroism on the battlefield to his fierce advocacy for his constituents, Congressman Murtha never backed away from a fight. He had a firm sense of what he wanted to accomplish, and he refused to let anything stand in his way.

“We will miss his representation in Congress and his friendship here at home. My thoughts and prayers and those of my entire family go out to Congressman Murtha’s friends and relatives on this very sad day.”

Pres. Barack Obama:
Michelle and I were deeply saddened today to hear about the passing of Congressman John Murtha. Jack was a devoted husband, a loving father and a steadfast advocate for the people of Pennsylvania for nearly 40 years. His passion for service was born during his decorated career in the United States Marine Corps, and he went on to earn the distinction of being the first Vietnam War combat veteran elected to Congress. Jack’s tough-as-nails reputation carried over to Congress, where he became a respected voice on issues of national security. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife of nearly 55 years, Joyce, their three children, and the entire Murtha family.

Tim Kaine:
DNC Chairman Tim Kaine released the following statement on the passing of Congressman John Murtha.

“Today we mourn the loss of a great American figure who dedicated his life to serving his country both in the military and in the halls of Congress. Congressman Murtha had a storied 37-year career in the U.S. Marine Corps and in 1974 he became the first Vietnam War combat veteran elected to Congress.

“Just the other day, Congressman Murtha became the longest serving Pennsylvanian in the history of the House of Representatives. During his career, he worked hard to bring tens of thousands of middle class jobs to western Pennsylvania. His legacy as a fighter for his causes and his constituents will be remembered long after his passing.
“Our thoughts and prayers today are with the Congressman’s wife, his children and his grandchildren.”

Rep. Paul Kanjorski:
Congressman Paul E. Kanjorski (PA-11) provided the below statement on the passing away of Congressman John Murtha.

“As we mourn the loss of Congressman Murtha, I pass along my thoughts and prayers to his family and friends. Today, an era of Pennsylvania’s history has sadly ended as the nation and Pennsylvania has lost one of its most determined and tireless public servants.

“Jack was a friend and colleague who I have looked up to throughout my time in Congress for his dedication to our country and our military troops, his strength to work in a bipartisan way, and his passion for his work and the Pennsylvanians he represented. Throughout his career in public service, Jack has been a symbol of the hardworking Pennsylvanians through the Commonwealth.

“While prone to criticism in Washington for his knack for securing federal funding for his Congressional district, that federal funding helped create thousands of jobs for Pennsylvanians and aided with needed economic development in his district. He was elected to help his district, which is exactly why we, as Members of Congress, are all elected. Jack was able to effectively balance the needs of his constituents with the needs of the country.

“The legacy that he has left will surely live on as a symbol of the great work that one man can do and as something that we can all strive to achieve. As the leader of the Pennsylvania Congressional delegation, and as a close friend, he will be sorely missed.”

Below is a statement for the Congressional Record that Congressman Kanjorski submitted on Friday on behalf of many Members of the Pennsylvania Congressional delegation. On Friday, Congressman Murtha became the longest serving Member of Congress ever from Pennsylvania.

Joe Sestak:
Congressman Joe Sestak (PA-07) released the following statement on the passing today of Congressman John Murtha:

“My thoughts and prayers go out to the Murtha family at this very difficult time. His service to our nation in Congress reflected an unyielding commitment to his constituents, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and our nation. However, he holds my greatest respect for the courage he showed in serving as a United States Marine and subsequently becoming the first Vietnam combat veteran elected to Congress. In doing so, he gave a voice to millions of men and women who fought in an unpopular war and were not afforded the respect and care they earned and deserved.

It was a privilege to work with him on a number of issues, and I am especially appreciative of the help he gave me as a mentor, whether it was on an approach within the halls of Congress, specific legislative items, or coming to my District to assist at key events. We should all be grateful for his commitment to public service for his District, Pennsylvania and this nation.”

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