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Joel Shrum

(Mr. PITTS asked and was given permission to address the House for 1 minute and to revise and extend his remarks.)

Rep. Joe Pitts

legislator photo

Madam Speaker, on Sunday in the Yemeni city of Tah-izz, al Qaeda terrorists viciously gunned down American Joel Shrum.

Joel grew up in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, in Mount Joy and was a football star at Donegal High School.

He leaves behind a wife and two young sons who lived with him in Yemen.

Joel worked as a teacher at the International Training Development Center, which focused on giving vocational training to the poor.

Joel was a Christian, but he was not in the country to proselytize. According to his father, Joel was there to teach and break down barriers. The organization he worked for is staffed by both Christians and Muslims and has worked in the country for over 40 years.

The people of Yemen are appalled at this violence. Hundreds of activists took to the streets yesterday to demand justice for the killers. They carried photos of Joel and chanted: ``Yemen is not a place for terrorism'' and ``We love you, Joel.''

Joel Shrum selflessly served the poor in a country far from home. He will be dearly missed by his family and by the people he came to serve.