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Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Congressman Kind commemorates Pearl Harbor 75 years later

WASHINGTION D.C. - This week marks the 75th anniversary of the attacks on Pearl Harbor.  The events of Pearl Harbor had a lasting impact on America: both in the lives of the brave men who were there that day and on our country. 

This summer when I went to observe our naval exercises in the Pacific Ocean, I visited the USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor and reflected on what happened that day, how we must make sure we avoid future attacks on our soil and the brave soldiers who fought to protect all that we hold dear.

At a time when we are seeing an increasing push to cut ourselves off from the rest of the world, it is important to remember the lessons history has taught us. Withdrawing from the global stage has never worked well for us in terms of both our economic and national security, especially in the current interconnected world. We must join our allies to shape the economic rules in favor of our workers and businesses and protect our borders. This is not the time to withdraw and try to go it alone.

While at the memorial I was also reminded of the numerous brave Wisconsinites who fought for our nation in World War II.

Men like Otto, a 91-year-old from New Lisbon, who is one of just two remaining servicemen who served on the USS Missouri when the Japanese officially surrendered at the end of WWII. Otto was a fireman who was working in a room down the hall from where General Douglas MacArthur and Japanese leaders signed the agreement announcing surrender.

Men like the World War II veteran from Eleva who served in the Pacific on the USS Chandeleur. He reached out to me for help getting replacements for the medals he earned during his service. My office was able to work with the Navy to help him secure replacements for all of the medals he had earned.

And men like Bruce Bradley who was stationed aboard the USS Arizona on December 7th, 1941. Mr. Bradley, unfortunately, lost his life that day but received a Purple Heart in recognition of his sacrifice and service. My office is currently working with Mr. Bradley’s family on legislation to help family members of fallen soldiers get replacement medals for the ones they earned for their service.

These veteran’s stories and many others like theirs are why I created the Veterans History Project. The Veterans History Project has collected over 100,000 stories to keep at the Library of Congress, so future generations can know our shared history.

For our the brave Wisconsinites who fought at Pearl Harbor and all that have served and continue to serve our country we owe it to them to take the lessons learned at Pearl Harbor and make sure we are doing everything possible to protect our nation.

Congressman Kind at Pearl Harbor Memorial

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