Republicans and Democrats unite to honor World War II veterans at U.S. Capitol showing of ‘Honor Flight’

WASHINGTON, D.C. – In this time of heated partisanship, Senators and Congressmen from both political parties came together to host a viewing of documentary film Honor Flight at the Capitol Visitor Center Tuesday night. The film celebrates World War II veterans – 900 of whom die every day – and the group that brings them to Washington to visit their memorial.

“There is no better feeling than to stand and face that bus – when it rolls up from Reagan to the World War II memorial – to greet these veterans as they arrive,” said Congressman Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.).

Ryan gestured to a WWII veteran near him named  Joe Demler and said, “Joe fought in the Battle of the Bulge – he was captured by the Nazis. They sent him to a POW camp – they never gave him food or water. By the time he was freed he weighed 70 pounds. Life magazine took a picture of him lying in the hospital and they called him the ‘human skeleton.’

“He’s 87 on Friday,” Ryan said. “He was born on the anniversary of Pearl Harbor, and he is with us today.” Turning to Joe, Ryan said, “Joe Demler, thank you for your service.

“Our founders created the American idea, and our veterans secured and preserved it each and every generation,” Ryan continued, quoting Will Rodgers: “We can’t all be heroes, but some of us can stand on the curb and clap as they go by.”

Suhail Khan spoke on behalf of Microsoft, a sponsor of the event. He spoke about how his grandfather’s service in World Wars I and II inspired him to get involved in this project – “this is a chance for us as family members to turn and say thank you to those who served our country.”

Khan introduced Dr. David Pecora, a surgeon from Yonkers, N.Y., and Dorothy Pecora, a nurse with Patton’s 3rd Armored division.

“They got married – with special permission from the Supreme Allied Commander General Eisenhower – before D-Day, they had one night together.” They didn’t see each other for nearly a year afterward. Dorothy went on to receive three battle stars and a bronze star for being fired upon and to treat victims from two concentration camps.

Senator Herb Kohl (D-Wisc.) spoke of how he helped a wounded veteran, Vern Arendt, receive a purple heart after 7 decades of being denied the honor.

“We owe a great debt of gratitude to the veterans of World War II,” he said. “Without their service and sacrifice the United States would not be the free country that it is today.”

Congressman Sean Duffy (R-Wisc.) acknowledged what a great showing of bipartisanship the gathering was.

“We all know we don’t agree on taxes or spending, but we do agree that we come together to honor the great men and women who have served our country,” he said.

“Each generation fights for freedom, liberty and democracy and passes it off to the next generation,” Duffy said.

Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio) spoke about her involvement in the nearly 17-year production of the World War II memorial. “The idea came from the heart of America – it came from a veteran who spoke to his member of Congress.”

Kaptur called the monument’s location “the most important location on our hall of democracy.” She eloquently explained its situation “between the Washington Monument, which represents the President but also the founding of the republic in the eighteenth century, and then the Lincoln Memorial, a memorial to the president, but also to the nation that unified and held the republic together.”

“Between them then,” she concluded, “the most important achievement of the Twentieth Century, the victory of liberty over tyranny.”

The last day to see Honor Flight is currently Dec. 14. To find a location Honor Flight is showing near you or request a showing, visit the film’s website.

Comments

Polititainment

Jenner comes out as trans, Republican
Former Olympian and “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” star Bruce Jenner finally revealed that he identifies as a woman in his Friday night “20/20″ interview with Diane Sawyer, but it was a different announcement that had viewers freaking out. Sawyer asked if Jenner cheered when President Obama became the first president to even say the […]
Waka Flocka Flame endorses Hillary

Just days after announcing his own candidacy for president in 2016, Waka Flocka Flame is endorsing Hillary Clinton for the White House. The Atlanta rapper said during a recent interview with MTV News that he will vote for Clinton in the 2016 presidential election.

Obama honors New England Patriots

President Obama honored the Super Bowl Champion football team on the South Lawn, kicking off his remarks with a joke about the team's long since past "Deflate Gate" controversy.

Olivia Wilde endorses Hillary Clinton

Actress Olivia Wilde is "excited" by Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign. The film star, who campaigned for then-Sen. Barack Obama in 2008, expressed her enthusiasm for the "political discussions" that result from election season during a recent interview with The Daily Beast.

Robert Downey Jr. walks out of interview

Robert Downey Jr. cut short a recent interview with British Channel 4 News reporter Krishnan Guru-Murthy when the journalist questioned the actor about a past statement regarding how being imprisoned impacted his political beliefs.

2016

Sen. Cornyn worried about Clinton transparency

On Jan. 20, 2009, the U.S. Senate was poised to nominate then-Senator Clinton as secretary of State by a unanimous consent vote, but Sen. Jon Cornyn (R-Tex.) objected, temporarily thwarting Clinton’s nomination.

Jeb Bush is on the Paleo diet

Jeb Bush is slimming down ahead of his likely 2016 bid for the White House. The former governor of Florida has lost about 30 pounds on the Paleo diet since December, according to a report in The New York Times.

NYT reporter: Hillary calls everything 'off-limits'

New York Times reporter Jeremy Peters said on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" Thursday that Hillary Clinton ahead of her run for president in 2016 is dismissing every critical report about her as illegitimate and "off-limits."

Seth Meyers defends Hillary Clinton

Seth Meyers defended Hillary Clinton during Thursday's episode of "Late Night," dismissing allegations about the former secretary of State that will be laid out by the forthcoming anti-Clinton book "Clinton Cash."

Rick Perry disagrees with Christie on pot

Rick Perry is against legalizing marijuana--but, unlike Chris Christie, wouldn't "crack down" on states that choose to legalize.

Policy

Obamacare brings growth in food stamp enrollment
CHICAGO (AP) — President Barack Obama’s health care law has had a surprising side effect: In some states, it appears to be enticing more Americans to apply for food stamps, even as the economy improves. New, streamlined application systems built for the health care overhaul are making it easier for people to enroll in government benefit […]
DC gets mad at Gowdy and Buck over gun photo

Reps Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) and Ken Buck (R-Colo.) just dodged a run-in with the D.C. authorities.

The danger of policing through Facebook

These days, everything happens on social media--including solving crime.

Police seized 11-yr-old for defending legal pot

One Kansas school apparently found a child's earnest defense of marijuana legalization so threatening they called the police on his mother.

Support for Obamacare hits surprising high
Support for Obamacare has hit a two-year high, despite the tax season surprises that followed the law this year. According to a new Kaiser Health Tracking Poll released Tuesday, the percentage of people who say they support the healthcare law is greater than those who oppose it for the first time since the fall of 2012. […]