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tv   Senator Cotton Remarks at Young Americas Foundation  CSPAN  August 1, 2019 5:07pm-5:49pm EDT

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morning at 2:30 a.m. eastern also on c-span. >> the raising of the debt ceiling. >> look at china and other countries, we are the hottest country in the world. we have a strong military. we had to rebuild our military. >> saturday 10:00 a.m. eastern. listen wherever you are using the c-span radio app. >> soldiers tour at arlington national cemetery. the history behind the land where more than 400,000 soldiers are buried. this is 30 minutes.
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cap mark. >> thank you all. so many college age students are here at 8:00 a.m. a lot of my democratic colleagues were here as well. i'm sure a few of you stayed up to watch the debates. i did not. we are still advocating for decriminalizing crossing our border illegally.
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giving them taxpayer healthcare, too. one of my colleagues recently said we have to pay taxpayer funded abortion. that sounds like something some of you might come up with your thinking about parity. i could go on about our democratic friends but i see you have a fascinating book in front of you. i hope you all enjoy the book. it's about the old guard of the
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army in which i . i think there's a lot for all of you at your age. raise your hand if you've been to the cemetery cracks if you did not raise your hand, i would encourage you to make it over there and spend a couple of hours at the tomb of the unknown soldiers. it is truly sacred ground.
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it seems to have been designed by some secret plan to become our national cemetery. the story began in the tidewater region where the president talked to celebrate 400 years. a young woman from a distinguished family, married at 18 years old, she married into another distinguished family and they had four children in the next seven years.
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her life would be touched by tragedy again and again. she had two children die. then she was widowed. family legend says he died of a broken heart when his son died. she was widowed at 26 with two surviving children. she was probably the wealthiest woman at that time. she may have been the wealthiest person. she could have done anything with her life. she married a couple years later, a young colonel who had already distinguished himself in the french and indian war. his name was george washington. george washington adopted them
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as his own. george washington had no natural born heirs. he raised them as his own. he would command the army and teenage jackie and patty but patty passed away as well at 13. he left our nation to victory and the war was a jackie, at
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26 passed away. martha, at 48 had been predeceased by all four children. jackie had married a few years earlier and had children. after time, he said he was homesick and wanted to be back in virginia. so he could be close to his beloved mount vernon. he decided to use the family fortune to buy the land that is now arlington national cemetery. he brought what is now ronald
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ragan national airport. the correspondence between the two in valley forge, advising his adopted son not be taken. after we succeeded in yorktown and the country celebrated, the washington was horny there remain son. there were four young children. george and martha adopted two of them. they raised them as their own. by this time, there's no longer
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current washington. he was the greatest living american. the farm and ranch and lived out his life with martha and adopted grandson and granddaughter. in the 1780s, as our young patient struggled, our founding fathers found we needed a new constitution. george washington presided over him. his young adopted grandson observed this. then we ratified the constitution. most of the constitution's
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were written with george washington in mind. then george washington will solve the rest for us and his successors will follow his example. it was a great year as our first president. from mount vernon to philadelphia and back, he watched his grandfather. not just having one independent but also became its first president. in 1796, they all returned to mount vernon. martha died in 1802. mount vernon reverted back.
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it just so happened it turned 21. he inherited his father's land. land that was still farmland and river bottoms. wanting to stay near his home, he moved to the river. to give you a sense of that plant connection through our nation and through its history, he referred to it as mount washington. he moved in and began to build, that big mansion that you still see today when you cross the bridge. if you been to mount vernon, ,
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long before the washington memorial. everything about arlington was designed as a public tribute. for most of the 19th century, washington's treasury. they inherited equal parts of memorabilia but spent well beyond his means and was in debt to buy even more. the farm instruments be crafted, not for his own private display
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but to put it out for the public. people would come to visit, strangers want to do know about george washington. they'd have festivals on washington's birthday every year. public readings of the declaration on independence day. that's what arlington looks like for much of the 19th century. also was a working farm and ranch. he was visited by tragedy, he lost many children. he had one surviving child, mary. in 1829, another young lieutenant, robert e lee. he had been from a distinguished family. his father had been one of washington's great calvary.
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mary and robert have known each other and had gone back to childhood. they got married in 1831 , of robert e lee and his wife and seven children. for 30 years, arlington was his home. robert was an engineer, one of the top students were he would later return. that meant he spent a lot of time on hampton roads for new york city.
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almost every winter they would return to arlington for christmas and he would cross the river and work at the chief of engineers office while mary was with their grandkids at home. that continued for 30 years. . south carolina seceded and the other states followed. by then, general in chief mind, the finest soldier ever on the field, they asked if war would break out, what steps they
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should take, they should have an insurance policy on robert e lee. we probably knew what was in store when he returned. he was summoned to cross the river. first he went to blair house. it called that because it belonged to the blair family. abraham lincoln was asked to offer me the command of the army. robert now stood at a cusp where only washington stood in history.
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that would forge a nation's future, he never said what he would do for fame. he believed it was a constitutional right. he said he would reside as commissioner. orders. he went back to the arlington house and he wrote his letter of resignation. he left and never returned. a few weeks later, after much and returning and for those of
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you who have been to arlington or fort myers on the hills adjacent to arlington, he would know the army would never allow the land to fall into confederate hands. it occupies the high ground. it could have been arranged by artillery to place on the high ground. union army crossed and occupied arlington. for timber and food and other resources in the work. in 1864, as well.
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the capital region was filled up. senior union army leaders who looked very unfavorably on the and had hundreds of acres of land, began to take elders over there. they knew the claim was somewhat dubious as a legal matter. they refused to take the tax payment from a relative. they knew if they lost the claim
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to that land, they could at least hope to claimant as a practical matter. from then on, they had to graduate over the years. the oldest veterans, graves are right in the vicinity of the arlington house. they went back to their farms and cities but they were right about their claim to arlington. lee passed away a few years after the war. mary made an effort to reclaim the land but asking the congress to remain on behalf of the traders widow was not popular. she passed away in 1786.
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as a reminder, the deep roots of our nation and also the tragedy of the civil war, roberts first name. the district court asking to evict the military commander, and to evict all the souls that were at rest there. in 1882. equally, the supreme court ruled the family of robert, .
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this posed a dilemma. we now have title to that, and they settled on $150,000.
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he signed on the dotted line and transmitted it to the department of war. was robert todd lincoln. the firstborn son of abraham lincoln. i think it serves as a important reminder that although we live been divided times, it seems people are at each other's throats, there are times in our past in which we have been more divided. eighteen years after that time, 600,000 americans died in battle, which is sacred
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ground. the cemetery continued to grow and expand. veterans were added and confederate veterans were ultimately accepted. he became famous throughout the world in 1963. the home of three unknown soldiers. today, there are over 400,000
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souls addressed in the cemetery. if you go there today or tomorrow, you will be able to see many of them. the best way to take it in is when you are flying in. i encourage you to look out the window to the east first. you will see giant monuments. . there you will see arlington. more than 400,000 souls.
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you will see tiny monuments to giant men and women. if it wasn't for all of those men and women who we honor, giant men honor to the east, washington accomplished and at this stage, who don't know what the future has for you. many will have great opportunities, all of you will chase facing challenges. you don't know the conditions but you do know you can make a difference for your family, community, you can still make
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the kind of difference that every person at the cemetery who has a monument for our world. thank you all. cap. >> i know we have some microphones set up. we have time for a couple of questions. >> as someone who has lived to box up, are you optimistic at the current round of
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negotiations will end any different than a decade ago quest. >> the current round is an optimistic way of putting it. there doesn't seem to be a return address right now. i'm not sure if there has been much progress with kim jong un. we'll say the status quo has remained the same since the first summit. peaceful settlement.
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kim made unreasonable demands upon the u.s. much like ronald reagan did. giving no quarter at all on our sanctions for diplomatic postu posture, it's good to talk but we shouldn't take steps backwards, give everything that kim is demanding. until they sit down at the negotiating table, it's hard to see what that will be. >> i was wondering if you could discuss the importance that military service plays.
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>> if you're not thinking about joining the military, you should be. especially the army. they are very fine services as well. if you're not thinking about joining, you should be. in the military will put you in the best place in life no matter where you go. there's nothing you can do in the next two to four years that will better prepare you for the next steps of your life.
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what you earn, the responsibilities you have, serving your country cannot be learned at the best companies or schools in america. when you're done with service, you can learn all of your peers have been learning working in office. if you are not thinking about joining, the military service has been an important part of
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our country. many of you might have older brothers or sisters or parents who have served, that's a strong bond we have. that has not always been the case, that was because of the founding dna of this country.
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they had to endure the british army being quartered among them so the last 75 years have been something of an anomaly of our country. after world war ii, so many people participated in it, that's one reason why military service was outta peak 20, 30 years ago. it has been declining since. this country doesn't need the
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draft given the size of our country and geopolitical situation we face between us and our adversaries. some countries do need drafts. i don't advocate to that kind of military service. i do advocate for every one of you to carefully consider military service. >> my grandfather immigrated here and served and 51. whenever we would have a super bowl party, he looked at me and tell me to stand during the national anthem. there's a lot of respect for america, what steps we can take
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to help the american people regain that. >> thank you for your grandfather's like that. the army was still segregated in world war two. one of them buried in the cemetery is a boxer, he volunteered, he was not drafted. one of his friends asked him why he joined. he wanted to join to fight in an army that won't even recognize you as an equal. it's that kind of attitude, perspective on america that broke all of our imperfections. we are still the greatest nation
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in the world, in human history that we need to teach young people today. i disagree with one premise, people your age don't have as much respect, that was not my experience. teaching them to respect the men and women in uniform, he also need to teach them why they should respect that uniform and that flag. that is just and noble and free. a nation founded on choice and principles that men are created equal. we have the right to control the government, not have the government control us.
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it's those principles for which we are fighting that i think too many young people are not taught in today's schools and colleges. that's why i am always happy to come speak to young americans. thank you all for what you do. >> i was wondering how your service changed your views specifically. >> the army both teach you a lot of important life lessons. one thing, how to overcome
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adversity. the first time you're in a fight overseas, a lot of my views were formed before i joined the army. they were formed in college, learning about the timeless, nation was founded. some people say you believe in a strong defense because you joined the army. that's closed to correct but it's actually be opposite. have the ability to be versatile and protective of others. a lot of the lessons i learned growing up on the farm and
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learning about the history of our nation. thank you all again. tell all of your friends who are sleeping what they missed. >> one more round of applause. thank you so much. we will move on to the next activity. thank you.
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