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

GoT Author to host Democrat Fundraiser
The red fundraiser? In this case, the appropriate color is probably blue. George R.R. Martin, the author of the popular book series “A Song of Ice and Fire” and the inspiration for HBO’s “Game of Thrones,” will host a fundraiser for Sen. Tom Udall (D- N.M.) in early October. According to Udall’s campaign, the event will […]
Jay Carney's son performs at White House

The former White House press secretary and now CNN political commentator tweeted out a photo of his son's band Twenty20 performing at a White House event Monday evening.

Stewart: Graham has panicked for 13 yrs
Comedian Jon Stewart is taking some time away from going after his favorite Republican war hawk Sen. John McCain and is now going after McCain’s fellow rally crier, Sen. Lindsey Graham. Graham had some strong words over the weekend on the topic of ISIS, saying,  ”This president needs to rise to the occasion before we […]
Actress: I made 'constitutional' stand

Django Unchained actress Daniele Watts said Monday morning that she made a stand for her "constitutional rights" in resisting the LAPD late last week.

Gillibrand Madam Secretary inspiration

After first revealing that CBS' upcoming "Madam Secretary" series was inspired by Hillary Clinton and Benghazi, the show's producers are now saying that Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) was more of the inspiration for the lead role.

 

White House

Joe Biden should never be allowed to support a Redskins name change

Imagine for a moment a tied Senate vote urging the Washington Redskins to change their team name. Into the chamber steps Joe Biden.

Gaffetastic vice-president apologizes for slur

Vice-President Joe Biden apologized Wednesday for his use of an ethnic slur in a speech this week.

Two remarkable stories show why these Vietnam vets earned an exemption to receive the Medal of Honor

Two Vietnam War veterans who were granted an exemption to receive the Medal of Honor were officially recognized Monday, recalling the extraordinary courage of servicemen often obscured by the tumultuous domestic politics of the era.

Obama orders airstrikes in Syria for first time

WASHINGTON (AP) — Opening a new military front in the Middle East, President Barack Obama authorized U.S. airstrikes inside Syria for the first time Wednesday night, along with expanded strikes in Iraq as part of a broad mission to root out the violent Islamic State militants whose reign of terror has spread across both countries.

Golf courses are now rejecting President Obama

A president can no longer just golf like a major champion today.

Congress

Rand Paul: Millennials 'aren't as wedded to party'
Sen. Rand Paul (R – Ky.) seems to have the majority of millennials figured out. The presidential hopeful spoke with The Federalist this week about his foreign policy views and the shift toward libertarian views among millennials. “I think the libertarian influence, the libertarian-ish Republican, the libertarian conservatives in many ways is great for the […]
Democrats turn on Debbie Wasserman Schultz
POLITICO – Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz is in a behind-the-scenes struggle with the White House, congressional Democrats and Washington insiders who have lost confidence in her as both a unifying leader and reliable party spokesperson at a time when they need her most. Long-simmering doubts about her have reached a peak after two […]
'Finally, we're gonna audit the Fed'

The House passed a bill Wednesday afternoon to audit the Federal Reserve, a long-time crusade of former Rep. Ron Paul and libertarians.

No welfare for weed under House bill
WASHINGTON (AP) — The House passed a bill Tuesday night that could make it a little harder for people to use government welfare payments to buy marijuana in states where the drug is legal. Supporters call it the “no welfare for weed” bill. The bill would prevent people from using government-issued welfare debit cards to make purchases […]
Congress tweets the Constitution

For an alternative reading experience this Constitution Day, direct your attention to Darrell Issa's Twitter feed.