Mr. Speaker, today I have the great honor of welcoming to our Nation's capital eighty-nine Iowa veterans of the Greatest Generation. Accompanied by seventy volunteer guardians, these veterans have travelled to Washington, DC to visit the monument that was built in their honor.
For many if not all of these veterans, today 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 Iowa's--and our Nation's--heroes.
I proudly have in my office a piece of marble from the quarry that supplied the marble which was used to build 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 we hold so dear. They did so as one people and one country. Their sacrifices and determination in the face of great threats to our way of life are both humbling and inspiring.
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 the Quad Cities Honor Flight and Iowa's veterans of the Second World War 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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