Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure for me to rise today to join the many friends, family, and community leaders who have gathered to celebrate the outstanding contributions of Alfred L. Marder as he celebrates his 90th birthday. Al is one of our community's most active advocates--dedicating much of his life to fighting for social justice and the improvement of the quality of life for all.
Al Marder is an institution in our community. He is perhaps best known for his work to promote peace, social justice, worker's rights and equality. His commitment to these issues is unwavering--regardless of controversy, he always stands firm in his fight to protect human rights.
Over the course of his 90 years, Al has made innumerable contributions to our community and our nation. In his early years, Al served as Executive Director of the Connecticut CIO Youth and Sports Organization and was President of the New Haven Youth Conference. He served in the United States Infantry during World War II and was stationed in the European Theater where he received the Bronze Star. Following the war, Al completed his college education at the University of Connecticut and soon found a passion that he would pursue for the rest of his life. During the McCarthy era, Al was one of those singled out for proudly sharing his thoughts and ideas. Standing firm in his support of civil liberties and the right of every American to freely express themselves, Al discovered his passion for civil and workers rights--two issues to which he has dedicated a lifetime of advocacy.
Here in New Haven, Al has made many contributions that have changed the face of our community. One of those outstanding efforts was his work to bring light to story of the Amistad captives and its lessons of unity to achieve freedom. The Amistad story has a special connection to the New Haven community and its resurrection and celebration has become a great source of pride. It has led to the erection of a statue of Sengbe Pieh at City Hall, the re-creation of the Amistad ship at Mystic Seaport, and the formation of the Connecticut African American Freedom Trail. Through each of these efforts, the story of the Amistad and its captives' fight for freedom teaches new generations of the fundamental liberties on which our nation was built. It has had an extraordinary impact on our community and would not have been possible without Al's commitment to ensuring its success.
I am honored to have this opportunity to join all of those gathered today in wishing Alfred L. Marder a very happy 90th birthday. At 90-years young, Al continues his work on behalf of those whose voices are too often silenced. Al has left an indelible mark on our community and a legacy of advocacy and compassion that will certainly inspire generations to come. I extend my very best wishes to him, his children, Rebecca and Kenneth, and his grandchildren, Emily and Adam, for many more years of health and happiness.
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