tv [untitled] CSPAN June 11, 2009 4:00pm-4:30pm EDT
many people worldwide. it is a symbol of the need to continue our efforts to reduce intolerance, prejudice and hatred in the world. it was over 15 years ago when i led a group of young people from san diego to visit the newly opened museum, a group of high school students from all walks of life who were participating in a mentoring program. i was executive director of that program and made a point to make a visit to the holocaust museum on our agenda. it was a memorable moment until that day had never fully comprehended what the holocaust meant. so i want to add my voice in expressing my condolences to the family of museum guard stephen tyrone jones. his courage and sacrifice will never be forgotten in a place where we always say never again. also to be praised are the security guards who subdued the gunman and prevented a tragic incident from becoming even
more tragic. this incident was so important to me because i was standing there at the museum two days before. thank you, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> yesterday, a despicable act a curred and by now everyone knows what it was and why it was. i won't belabor that other than to say hatred is something that leads to violence. so we should all be looking deeply within our hearts to remove hatred and to try to value humanity. officer stephen johns leaves an 11-year-old son who i saw on tv yesterday and he was, you know,
i don't think he could cry, shofse overwhelmed and then his mother and his grandmother were too distraught to talk and so we -- they need our prayers and i send out my condolences to the family and it happened yesterday that a black man doing his duty at the u.s. holocaust memorial museum was killed and our communities have worked so diligently in the past, we have such strong bonds, so we are there for each other. thank you very much and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from west virginia. mr. rahall: i yield one minute to the gentleman from ohio, pli driehaus.
mr. driehaus: i rise today to add my voice to this tragedy and honor the family of mr. johns who was so tragically killed yesterday at the holocaust museum. i think when i come to the floor and when i think about this job and what we are trying to do, to send a message to our children across this country, it is a message of tolerance, it is a message of trying to wipe out hatred, trying to wipe out the hatred that exists against different races, different religions, different cultures. it is about learning to accept and appreciate the cultures. the holocaust museum stands as a tribute and helps us better understand the tragedies that occur when intolerance runs amok. i stand with my fellow colleagues and the people of
this body in honor of mr. johns to say, we believe intolerance, we believe -- we believe in tolerance we believe in acceptance, and we thank him and his family and we mourn with them. thank you. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from west virginia. mr. rahall: i yield a minute and a half to the gentlelady from nevada, ms. shelley berkley. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman is recognized for a minute and a half. ms. berkley: i thank the gentleman for yielding. the shooting at the united states holocaust museum is a sad reminder of how anti-semitism, intolerance and hatred can lead to senseless acts of violence and death. my deepest condolences go out to the family of security officer johns who was killed while defending the visitors and staff of the museum. his bravery and actions in the line of duty are to be commended and will long be remembered this disturbing attack on washington's
holocaust memorial museum and the accompanying loss of life underscore the importance of teaching each new generation about the holocaust and how we must work together to prevent the spread of intolerance and hatred based on religion, ethnicity, race, color, anything you choose. this shocking and horrific hate crime should be condemned by all americans. we must speak with one voice that this is unacceptable and will not be tolerated in the united states of america. this resolution is a worthy first step in this effort. i urge unanimous vote in favor of this resolution by my colleagues and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from west virginia. mr. rahall: i yield one minute to the gentlelady from ohio, mary jo kilroy. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized for one minute. ms. kilroy: to the grieving family of stephen tyrone jones,
i offer my deepest sympathy. you are in our thoughts and prayers. to the men and women in blue, especially those serving here on capitol hill, i offer my condolences at the loss of your brother officer and recognize the courage and devotion to duty he displayed at the cost of his life. i know that our nation's police forces stand ready each and every day to serve and to protect. this particular outrage is all the more heinous because of the place of the crime, our national holocaust museum and memorial. and because its perpetrated -- perpetrator had a repeated history of public ex-preckses of racism and anti-semitism. it is long past time for us to come together as a nation and put an end to racism to put an end to anti-semitism. to put an eand to homophobea
and to eliminate hate crimes. to come together and say that hatred and intolerance should not be allowed, that we should be able to end this as a community and come together as a nation that respects each other for the true gift of the individual that each of us is. thank you. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman's time has ex-priored. the gentleman from virginia. mr. rahall: how much time do i have left? the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from washington has one minute, the gentleman from west virginia has 14 minutes. ms. rahall: i yield one minute to the gentlelady from new york, mrs. mccarthy. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized for one minute. mrs. mccarthy: i thank the gentleman for yielding time. yesterday, a terrible tragedy happened right here in washington, d.c. it's sad when we see that there are people in this country who have so much hate in their
hearts. it's sad that this person went out to try to kill as many people as possible and being at the holocaust museum. stephen johns was there to protect the people in the museum and he lost his life. he lost his life being a hero by trying to save as many people there as possible. mr. speaker, each and every day there are killings, there are hatred, put on this kind of killings. it's got to stop. we can stop it here in congress if the american people would actually put their choices -- put their voices a little higher and tell their representatives the violence needs to stop. violence on every level is totally wrong. violence to innocent people is totally wrong. we need to do a better job of stopping the hate in this country.
with that, i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from west virginia. mr. rahall: i yield one minute to the gentlelady from illinois, ms. schakowsky. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman is recognized for one minute. ms. schakowsky: it's nearly a decade ago that in my district a hate monger came with a gun and pointed it at young men and women, people, families, leaving their synagogue at the beginning of the sabbath. when he wasn't able to kill anybody there, he drove down the street and saw an african-american standing in front of his house with his children in skokie, illinois, and shot and killed ricky birdsong a community leader and beloved member of that community. we made some progress in extinguishing anti-semitism and hatred, we've certainly worked toward it. yet yesterday, at the holocaust museum a place dedicated to remembering the lives of senselessly killed millions of
people. another shooter was there. but standing in his way was officer johns, officer stephen tyrone johns who died in defense of tolerance in our country, against intolerance in our country and saved probably the lives of many, many people in doing so because that shooter was going on to kill others. we owe him and his family a debt of gratitude and send condolences to those who loved him. thank you. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from west virginia. mr. hay rey hall: i yield one minute to the distinguished speaker of the house, nancy pelosi. the speaker pro tempore: the honorable speaker is recognized. the speaker: thank you very much, mr. speaker. i thank the gentleman for yielding and i thank all of those who were involved, mr. klein of florida, members of the house anti-semitism caucus and others, certainly the chairman of the committee, mr. rahall and others for giving us the opportunity to speak on the
floor, to express our grief and our outrage over what happened yesterday. when the news came to the capitol of what had happened at the u.s. holocaust museum, we were shaken, shaken to the core, that this could possibly happen. the resolution today allows us to express some of the grief we had and the strongest denungsuation -- denunciation of the despicable hate crime perpetrated yesterday and express our support for the work of the u.s. holocaust museum. some of us were there that rainy, rainy day when the holocaust memorial was dedicated, the holocaust memorial and museum. eli wiesel spoke to us so profoundly about what it meant -- elie wiesel spoke to us so
profouvendly about what it meant, and about the future. while the holocaust memorial and museum is about something that happened in the past, it is a memorial and reminder to us about ridding our societies of these kinds of attitudes. so how ironic, our ironic that this person, this individual would go into that museum with hate in his heart, a gun in his hand, and kill this beautiful man, stephen johns who really gave his life, he guarded others with his life. i'd like to take a moment and pay special tribute to stephen johns, whose life was true crewelly taken yesterday. he was known to his colleagues as a soft-spoken, gentle giant. stephen loved his hometown football team, the redskins, and loved to travel across the united states.
sad to say, well, it was a happy moment for him, but sad in such a short time he married and moved to temple hills, maryland, just 10 minutes away from his mother. he died in the line of duty, doing his job to protect those who came to the united states memorial museum. we honor today, we honor his sacrifice and his service. in the u.s. holocaust memorial museum, anyone who has visited there knows, there's a flame that burns in remembrance to all who died in the holocaust. it lights the room over a coffin of earth gathered from the death camps, concentration camps, sites of mass executions and ghettos in nazi-occupied europe and from cemeteries of u.s. soldiers who fought and died to defeat nazi germany. engraved above the flame it says, from duet ronmy, only
guard yourself and guard your soul carefully, lest you forget the things you saw, lest these things depart your heart all the days of your life and you shall make them known to your children and your children's children. today we commit to telling our future generations about the truth shared at the holocaust museum. this heinous act was committed at the entrance to sacred grown ound -- ground for us, the holocaust museum, and as i describe where some of the earth was gathered from. this is a severe blow to all of us who care about these issues. i would include that to be everyone in the congress of the united states and those throughout the world who promise never to forget. so we commit never to forget and we commit to continuing our work to build a world free of hatred. again, i thank our colleagues for giving us time to publicly mourn this horrible, horrible
event, to extend our condolences to the family of that brave guard and also to acknowledge that, like stephen johns, our own capitol police and many others who make this area safer for people to visit from all over the world, to make it safer for us to do our jobs here, make it safer for the press to cover us, make it safer for our staffs to work, to express our deep gratitude to them, for us the words gibson and chestnut are forever blazing in our heart, two of those committed to guard the capitol, whose lives were taken over 10 years ago. we'll add to that list stephen johns and never forget the sacrifice he made and never forget our responsibility, again, to end the world of hatred. with that, i yield back the balance of my time, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from west virginia. mr. rahall: i yield one minute to a valued member of our committee on natural resources,
the gentleman from american is a moi what, mr. faleomavaega. mr. faleomavaega: i want to thank chairman rahall and ranking member hastings, members of the committee for bringing this important resolution to the floor. i also want to commend both gentlemen, congressman klein and congressman pence, as co-chair of our caucus on anti-semitism. the memory of tom lantos eadvocates all the understanding that we have and appreciation for this important issue. i want to personally express my deepest condolences and sympathies to the family and friends of officer johns who was killed unexpectedly yesterday as a result of the shooting by a man who harbored so much hatred against members of our jewish community. officer johns was -- for some six years served faithfully at the museum, was doing his job, he made the ultimate sacrifice and we are here to honor him and his life.
he gave his life in order to save the lives of others. mr. speaker, i hope that every person who visits our nation's capitol should make it a point, a must, to visit the holocaust memorial museum. this revered museum is a similarble of our nation to the world that racism, bigotry, ignorance and hatred has no place in our country. this museum reminds the world, the suffering of some six million jews and we should never forget that if it happened to them, it could also happen to us. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from west virginia. mr. rahall: mr. speaker, i yield one minute to the gentleman from illinois, mr. jesse jackson. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from illinois is recognized for one minute. without objection, so ordered. mr. jackson: last night, mr. speaker, i tried to explain this event to my daughter when she he asked me why. i tried to tell her that african-americans fought for our country in world war ii and a holocaust survivor once told the story of how survivors of the holocaust knew they had been freed when african-americans showed up, knowing full well
because of their race that they could not be nazis. even if some african-americans had to fight under a different flag. african-americans and jewish americans banded together in many of our nation's great campaigns for social justice. martin luther king jr. used to often quote a rabbi, two jews and a black, killed for registering people to vote in mississippi. stephen tyrone johns lost his life defending visitors at a holocaust museum at the handses of a why the supremacist. as i believe president lincoln would paraphrase, their sacrifice is far above our own ability to add or detract. i would hope in this moment that we would recognize that the ties for human decency and dignity that bind us, that the blood that unites us is stronger than the hatred and acts of violence that divide us. it is my sincere hope, mr. speaker, that we might find some shining moment in recognizing that we have more in common and
working together than we do fighting and being apart. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from west virginia. mr. rahall: i yield one minute to the gentlelady from california, mrs. jane harmontana. the speaker pro tempore: recognized for one minute. ms. harman: thank you, mr. speaker, and i thank the gentleman for speaking -- yielding. less than a mile from this chamber a hate crime occurred yesterday. it occurred in a place of remembrance, a sanction wear. that sanctuary, the holocaust museum, has meaning for earn here. it has special meaning for me because my father was a refugee from that holocaust. and most of his family was killed in it. one exhibit in the holocaust museum is a wall of shoes taken from innocent men, women and children before they were gassed to death. who were they? what lives would they have led? would their children end up serving here as i do? in the memory of officer johns and six million innocent jews it
is time, past time, to end hate. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: time is expired. the gentleman from west virginia. mr. rahall: mr. speaker, i yield one minute to the gentleman from tennessee, mr. cohen. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. cohen: thank you, mr. speaker. mr. jackson expressed much of what i've thought about the events of the last -- of yesterday. elie wiesel expressed that people who hate and this assailant hated jews and blacks in particular, but that people who hate hate all people and minorities. with that in mind i think it's important that people reflect and do something positive with their children and themselves in the future as an antidote to the hate we saw and that's to bring your children to the holocaust museum and let them learn about the horrors of the nazis and the
camps and come to memphis and the civil rights museum and learn about civil rights and go to atlanta where dr. king is buried and learn about dr. king and nonviolence and take steps to learn about ways to make the world better. it's unfortunate what happened yesterday, it's so awful at that site. but that it's awful that it happened anywhere and that mr. johns did lose his life and we must appreciate all the guards that protect american order and liberty. thank you, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the chair will note that the gentleman from west virginia has seven minutes remaining. mr. rahall: thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, i yield one minute to the gentleman from michigan, mr. gary peters. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. peters: thank you. mr. speaker, my district is the home of the first free standing holocaust museum in the united states of america. for 25 years it has stood as a reminder of the horrific
consequences of extremism and hate. just a few months ago the founder of that museum passed away. although he is gone, his life work will educate future generations about the horrors of the holocaust so that such senseless violence should never again be repeated. last month this body passed a resolution honoring his life and memory. so it is with an especially heavy heart today think a come to the floor to urge passage of resolution 529, a resolution condemning the violent attack on the united states holocaust memorial museum on june 10. the holocaust museum exists as a place to reflect and mourn murderous prejudice and hatred. yesterday yet -- yet yesterday a senseless attack motivated by the same prejudice and hatred resulted in the tragic death of a security guard, stephen t. johns. it is a sad reminder that we must all remain vigilant in continuing the work of the rabbi to purge discrimination and rate red -- hatred from this world. i thank congressman klein for
sponsoring this important resolution. mr. rahall: i yield one minute to ms. schwartz. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman is recognized for one minute. ms. schwartz: thank you, mr. speaker. and i rise today to add my voice to all those who denounce the hate and violence and condemning yesterday's attack at the u.s. holocaust museum and to extend my thoughts and prayers to the family and friends of officer steafen johns. racism, anti--- stephen johns. racism, anti-semitism and other forms of hatred are not new. they impact too many people here and around the world. as a child of a holocaust survivor, i know all too well the destruction and suffering that hate can bring. this same kind of intolerance that my mother faced in austria in the 1930's still feeds the actions of foreign terrorists and domestic hate groups. we all have a role to play in combating bigotry and intolerance, wherever it may be and it's a sad reminder of the
work that we have to do that yesterday's tragic crime occurred so soon after president obama's historic trip and his strong rebuttal of those who deny the holocaust. so it's with a heavy heart that i join my colleagues in offering my sympathies to the families of officer john and commend the work, the wonderful work, important work, of the u.s. holocaust memorial museum and pledge to do my part in never forgetting. and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from west virginia. mr. rahall: mr. speaker, i yield
one minute to the gentleman from minnesota, mr. ellison. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. ellison: mr. chairman, i rise today to do two things. one, to offer condolences and thanks to the family of officer johns, for his brave sacrifice, and also to point out that officer johns dedicated his life to protecting the staff and visitors of an institution dedicated to remembering both the depths of human depravenity and the heights of courage and
bravery. as we must understand that the holocaust museum was not simply a place to remember loss, awful loss, but also courage and standing up to great adversity. may we all celebrate the life of officer johns and the six million jews who were murdered and memorialized at the holocaust museum by going to the holocaust museum, by supporting that museum and by showing defiantly that we will not be coward and we will not be
deterred from standing up for what's right. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from west virginia. mr. rahall: mr. speaker, i yield one minute to the gentlelady from california, ms. watson. ms. watson: thank you so much and, mr. speaker, left we forget, we must constantly be vigilant that we have people in this country that still harbor hate. as we go looking around the
world for those who would do mass carnage, we need to look right inside of ourselves and see what is happening among too many of our people. officer johns was there, i understand he opened the door for the person who shot him. but he represented a minority and the shooter went to a place where he could show his anger, his hate, his hostility. as long as these kind of people allow this to grow within them, we're all at risk and as long as we let guns go unregistered and out there in the hands of these people, each and every one of us is at risk. so the now the time not only to give our condolences to the family of officer johns, but to take a step in the right direction for the right policy
that will keep this in our minds every day of our lives. thank you, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from west virginia. the gentleman from west virginia. mr. rahall: mr. speaker, i yield one minute to the gentleman from new york, mr. eliot engel. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new york is recognized for one minute. mr. engel: i thank the gentleman, my friend from west virginia, for yielding to me. and i rise, of course, in support of this resolution. we are all shocked and saddened about what happened yesterday. the holocaust memorial museum is a museum dedicated to victims of genocide and to have any kind of hatred perpetrated in that museum is an absolute disgrace.
my heart goes out to officer johns and his family. d -- officer johns' family and he was doing what so many wonderful people do, protect the public and protect us and his life should not have been taken. mr. speaker, hatred is a terrible thing. the person who did the shooting reportedly has a long history of hating jews, hating african-americans, hating catholics and just about hating everybody. we need to do something about that. we need to teach our children that hatred doesn't -- isn't a part of mainstream anything and that people need to respect our fellow human beings. i also want to say something about guns because we really need to deal with the problem of guns in this country. i'd like to know why the assassin who served in prison for six years as a felon was able to get hold of a gun. this is a problem and we need to deal with it. i thank my friend and i rise in
support of this legislation. of this resolution. thank you. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from west virginia. mr. rahall: mr. speaker, i would advise mr. hastings that i am prepared to close with one final speaker if he wishes to use the balance of his time. mr. hastings: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield myself the balance of the time and simply say, mr. speaker, this is a good resolution, it's responsive to what happened yesterday at a place where something like this should never happen. so i urge my colleagues to vote yes for the resolution and yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from west virginia. mr. rahall: mr. speaker, i yield the remainder of my time to the sponsor of this resolution and commend him for the quickness with which he has brought this to the floor, the gentleman from florida, mr. klein. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for two minutes. mr. klein: i thank the speaker and i thank the gentleman from washington and the gentleman from west virginia for giving us the opportunity as well as the speaker for allowing us to promptly bring thi