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

Michael Bay might direct Benghazi movie

Bay, who has spent the last several years gaining popularity for his "Transformers" films, is reportedly in talks to direct the Benghazi film "13 Hours," according to the Hollywood Reporter.

Holder wants Denzel to play him in movie

Holder spoke to The Hill about Hollywood and politics while at an event at the Washington Ideas Forum Wednesday that was hosted by The Aspen Institute and The Atlantic.

'Rival Survival' premiering Wednesday

Senators Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) and Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) are getting ready to show America their bipartisan fire-starting skills on "Rival Survival," a reality show starring tho lawmakers that premiers Wednesday night on the Discovery Channel.

Lovitz has a field day with Hillary

Before Hillary Clinton's jobs comment is swept aside as a minor whoopsie, a few words from Jon Lovitz.

John Oliver has some ideas for the FDA

Some people want more nutrition information on food labels--but who really understands those labels anyway?

White House

Russian hackers broke into the White House network

Hackers with suspected ties to the Russian government recently broke into the White House’s unclassified computer network, the Washington Post reported Tuesday night.

Obama is withholding over 15,000 Fast and Furious documents

President Obama claimed executive privilege to withhold over 15,000 documents relating to Operation Fast and Furious, including nearly 20 emails sent between Attorney General Eric Holder and his wife.

White House fence jumper charged with assault
WASHINGTON (AP) — The 23-year-old Maryland man who climbed over the White House fence Wednesday night has been charged with felonies for assaulting two police dogs and making threats, the Secret Service said Thursday. Dominic Adesanya of Bel Air, Maryland, is in custody of the U.S. Marshals Service for previous outstanding warrants, Secret Service spokesman Brian Leary said. […]
President Obama, unpaid bills and the curious editing of the White House transcript
President Obama, some unpaid bills and a curiously “inaudible” section of the White House recording of a speech — that’s how all good stories start, right? While at a Democratic National Committee fundraiser in Chicago, Obama cracked a joke about the “unpaid bills” at his home. The joke was reported by the White House Press […]
Secrecy shrouds how the Obamas cook their chicken wings

Now it seems the Obamas are tight-lipped even about their eating habits.

Congress

Justin Amash envisions a libertarian Congress

Rep. Justin Amash, the libertarian congressman from Michigan, knows that Congress is far from libertarian. But someday, he thinks that might change.

Rand Paul: The GOP's image ‘sucks’

Rand Paul didn’t mince words about the GOP.

Small college's students thrown into 2014 election

Young people tend not to engage much in the humdrum local politics that go into midterm elections. But what if it’s happening literally in their own backyard?

GOP senator: 'Sorry the government's so f***ed'

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) made some self-deprecating jokes and colorful remarks about the state of the government during a recent private gathering, per a recording provided to CNN by South Carolina Democrats.

Top lawmaker's Ebola claim

A leading House Republican says he is aware of information that points to the United States eventually receiving non-U.S. Ebola patients for treatment.