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tv   Congressional Leaders Pay Tribute to Late World War II Veteran  CSPAN  July 17, 2022 9:47pm-10:37pm EDT

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of congress attend a ceremony honoring world war ii veteran herschel woodrow woody williams as he lays in honor in the capitol rotunda. he was the last living medal of honor recipient from the second world war. how speaker pelosi and senate minority leader mcconnell paid tribute to the late veteran, who died on june 29, 2022 at age 98. this runs just over 45 minutes.
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>> ladies and gentlemen, please rise.
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>> march. march. march. march.
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>> ladies and gentlemen, please remain standing for the invocation delivered by chaplain margaret grun kibben.
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chaplain kibben: would you pray with me? eternal god, we pause to orient ourselves to you in this moment. that we would acknowledge that by your grace you set among us humble heros who distinguished themselves in every time and place with their selfless and noble acts of courage. selfless and noble act of courage. thank you for the life and legacy of chief warrant officer hershel "woody" williams, whose example of devotion to service beyond self was extraordinary. may this ceremony in this hall of america thank you for the life and legacy of chief warrant officer hershel "woody" williams, whose example of devotion to service beyond self was extraordinary. may this ceremony in this hall of american pride serve to honor him suitably for his conspicuous gallantry. the accounts of chief warrant officer williams, unyielding determination clearly reflect was a core that ran deep within woody's being. as a flag unfurled on suribachi, woody never lost his nerve as he fought for right and freedom.
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our tribute prove worthy of the valor and grit, so reminiscent of his time, the greatest generation and may our lives be inspired to pick up the mantle to serve, as woody served ever mindful, ever faithful to his fellow marines, military families and veterans who even today, dedicate their lives to preserve the precious gift of freedom we each enjoyed. receive them, this marine, oh god, it's your keeping. may this good and faithful servant stand guard at your heavens gaetz, rewarded with your own, well done. in the name of the one who was always faith will, we pray, amen. >> please be seated. ladies and gentlemen, the
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honorable mitch mcconnell, republican leader of the united states senate. sen. mcconnel: it was october >> senator mcconnell: it was -- october 5, 1945, when harry truman presented the congressional medal of honor to 14 heroes, including the valiant patriot who now lies before us. in his remarks that day, president truman said we fought a good fight, we've won two great victories, we're facing another fight and we must win
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the victory in that. president truman knew that america's work was not finished. even after winning the second world war. and likewise, corporal woody williams, even after demonstrating the stunning heroism that earned him our nation's very highest honor knew that his own work was not finished either. that, perhaps, his greatest deeds still lay ahead. the thing that drew a farm boy from west virginia to a lifetime of patriotic service could best be described as a gravitational pull. the marine corps -- at woody's short statue could not deter him. be described as a gravitational pull. the marine corps' initial skepticism at woody's short
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stature could not deter him. his stint with western union, delivering the painful news that created gold star families, could not dissuade him. an even his improbable safe return from dangerous combat couldn't convince him that he had actually done enough. woody knew that true gratitude for america's service members ran deeper than even medals. he made giving back a life-long mission. giving back to his brothers in arms. giving back to generations of service men and women who followed in their footsteps. and especially giving back to the families of the fallen who never got to welcome their loved ones happily home. i was lucky enough to meet woody and share a stage with his
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mission and support as gold star families unveiled a special memorial in owensboro, kentucky. by that point, he'd been giving back to his beloved country and those who defended it for 77 years. so needless to say, woody's service leaves us a rich legacy. his valor in combat is enshrined aboard the u.s.s. hershel williams and at the hershel williams armed forces service. his commitment to fellow veterans inspires caregivers at woody williams medical center and his namesake foundation continues its work to honor the sacrifices of families left behind. our nation was richly blessed by the life of woody williams, and we trust he now rests with his father from whom all blessings flow.
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>> ladies and gentlemen, the honorable nancy pelosi, speaker of the united states house of representatives. speaker pelosi: i speak of the house, it's my solemn honor on behalf of the house of representatives to pay tribute to chief warrant officer hershel "woody" williams, an heroic american, a courageous defender of liberty, and the last surviving medal of honor recipient of world war ii. the congress offers our condolences to his daughter, tracey and travie, his grandchildren and great-grandchildren, and his entire beloved family. thank you for allowing our nation to join you in mourning this patriotic american here in this temple of american democracy.
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as the forces of tyranny threatened liberty around the world, woody proudly enlisted in the marines eager to , serve his country. at just 5'6", he was never the tallest marine, at 135 pounds, never the biggest. yet, he was a force of nature on the battlefield. at iwo jima, woody single-handedly destroyed seven different positions. president truman called his unyielding determination and extraordinary heroism. even after the stunning feat of bravery, his service was far from over. he devoted the rest of his life to helping veterans and gold star families and all families. always driven by his motto, the cause is greater than i am. today, we're joined by military leaders and medal of honor recipients. let us salute them. thank you for your presence here
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today. and it's a testament to the reverence for which woody is held by generations of u.s. service members and veterans. let us thank them for their service and their presence today. [applause]
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with woody's passing, we lost a deeply selfless american and a vital link to our nation's greatest generation. his story echoes the service of so many americans who face the horrors of war so that liberty might triumph over fascism. many of them were just 17, 18, 19 years old. they summoned all inspiring courage, keeping the flame of democracy burning through our darkest hour. as admiral nimitz said of those who fought at iwo jima, uncommon valor was a common virtue. many of us in congress have traveled around the globe to honor heroism of our world war ii veterans at normandy and elsewhere. when i had the privilege of joining a ceremony to mark the 75th anniversary of the battle of the bulge, a veteran in his 90's shared his memories of that brutal fight. he spoke about the camaraderie among his brothers in arms, about the friends he lost. at the end of his speech, he made a simple request -- pray for peace. let us honor woody and his compatriots by preserving the just peace for which they fought so freely. he feels so comfortable under that flag. what a combination. may he rest in peace. thank you.
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>> ladies and gentlemen, the president's marine band vocal and string ensemble. ♪
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["i come to the garden alone"] >> i come to the garden alone while the dew is still on the roses and the voice i hear falling on my ear the son of god discloses and he walks with me and he talks with me and he tells me i am his own and the joy we share as we tarry there none other has ever known he speaks and the sound of his voice is so sweet the birds hush their singing and the melody that he gave to
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within my heart is ringing ♪ and he walks with me and he talks with me and he tells me i am his own and the joy we share as we tarry there none other has ever known ♪ i'd stay in the garden with him tho' the night around me is falling but he bids me go through his voice of woe
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his voice to me is calling ♪ and he walks with me and he talks with me and he tells me i am his own and the joy we share as we tarry there none other has ever known ♪
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[" my wonderful lord" being sung] >> wonderful, wonderful my lord is wonderful i have found a deep peace that i have never known and a joy this world could not afford since i yielded control of my body and soul to my wonderful, wonderful lord to my wonderful lord, my wonderful lord by angels and seraphs in heaven adored i bow at thy shrine my savior divine my wonderful, ♪
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all the talents i have i have laid at thy feet thy approval shall be my reward be my store great or small i surrender it all to my wonderful, wonderful lord ♪ my wonderful lord my wonderful lord by angels and seraphs in heaven adored i bow at thy shrine my savior divine my wonderful, wonderful lord
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my wonderful, wonderful lord
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by angels and seraphs in heaven adored i bow at thy shrine my savior divine my wonderful, wonderful lord ♪ >> ladies and gentlemen, please rise for the benediction delivered by senate chaplain dr. barry c. black. chaplain black: let us pray. wonderful lord, continue to walk and talk with us. tell us that we belong to you. may the joy we share as we tarry in your presence, transcend earthly treasures.
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we thank you for the life and legacy of chief warrant officer hershel "woody" williams. lord, we praise you for providing us with someone who was an exemplary role model for courage, service, and freedom. thank you for the beauty of his life, which brought light to darkness, joy to sadness and hope to despair. merciful god, support us all the day long until the shadows lengthen and the evening comes and the busy world is hushed.
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and the fever of life is over and our work is done. then, in your mercy grant us safe lodging and our holy rest, and peace at last. we pray in your sovereign name, amen. >> ladies and gentlemen, please remain at your seats until escorted to pay your respects by the sergeant at arms staff.
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[solemn string music] ♪
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[no audio] and for the first time in 2018
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] people will be voting and we
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is that a cause for negotiation? [no audio]
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[no audio] >> marine corps veteran herschel
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woody williams late in honor at the u.s. capitol on thursday. he died on june 29 at age 98. west virginia senators joe manchin and o pay tribute to him on the senate for. here are their remarks. >> the last surviving world war ii medal of honor recipient of west virginia and one of the last of the greatest generation. before i began today, i want to recognize members of woody's family who are here today with us in the gallery, and i want to say thank you for being here and thank you for sharing woody all those years with me and shelley and all of our west virginians. we're here to respect woody's wishes of honoring all veterans and their families and to pay


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