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Senate Proceeding on Mar 16th, 2011 :: 6:19:00 to 6:33:15
Total video length: 9 hours 34 minutes Stream Tools: Stream Overview | Edit Time

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Mary Landrieu

6:18:45 to 6:19:05( Edit History Discussion )

Mary Landrieu: quorum call: a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from louisiana. ms. landrieu: i ask unanimous consent to dispense with the quorum. the presiding officer: without objection. ms. landrieu: mr. president, we're waiting for ten or 15 minutes for senators to come to the floor to speak about the bill, and i think that i and senator snowe and others have

Mary Landrieu

6:19:00 to 6:33:15( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: Mary Landrieu

Mary Landrieu

6:19:06 to 6:19:26( Edit History Discussion )

Mary Landrieu: fairly described it for the hours today and yesterday, so i thought i would take a minute to just pay honor to a gentleman, the last u.s. veteran of world war i who was laid to rest at arlington just yesterday, and to actually put into the

Mary Landrieu

6:19:27 to 6:19:47( Edit History Discussion )

Mary Landrieu: congressional record, and i'd like to read as much of it as i'm able before the other members come because it struck me as something important. it was a beautifully written article in the post this morning, and i hope that many people got to see it and i'm hoping many of our members were able to read it.

Mary Landrieu

6:19:48 to 6:20:09( Edit History Discussion )

Mary Landrieu: i learned some things that i had actually no idea about which will become apparent as i read this short article, but it was beautifully written by paul dugan, and i thought i'd just take a minute to read it into the record. this is the last u.s. veteran of world war i, so of course it

Mary Landrieu

6:20:10 to 6:20:30( Edit History Discussion )

Mary Landrieu: wasn't just any ordinary funeral, not that any funeral is ordinary, but it was extremely special to our country and to the world. president obama was in attendance. vice president joe biden was in attendance, and i would just like to read as much of it as i

Mary Landrieu

6:20:31 to 6:20:52( Edit History Discussion )

Mary Landrieu: can. "a lowly corporal of long ago was buried tuesday at arlington national cemetery, ushered to his grave with all the army's old guard solemn pomp. frank woodroebuckless lived to be 110. the last of nearly five million

Mary Landrieu

6:20:53 to 6:21:15( Edit History Discussion )

Mary Landrieu: u.s. veterans of a dimly remembered war, a generation now laid to rest. in a late-day chill after hundreds of strangers had paid their respects in public viewings since the weekend, soldiers carried the former doughboy's flag-draped coffin partway up a knoll and set it on polished rails above his plot.

Mary Landrieu

6:21:16 to 6:21:38( Edit History Discussion )

Mary Landrieu: a stone's toss from the grave of his old supreme commander, general john j. "blackjack" pershing. a chaplain commended his soul to god, a rifle cracked, buglers sounded the taps below a gentle rise. with flags at half staff throughout the u.s. military and government, it was a fine send-off for the country's last

Mary Landrieu

6:21:39 to 6:22:01( Edit History Discussion )

Mary Landrieu: known veteran of world war i who died peacefully february 27 in his west virginia farmhouse. yet, the hollowed ritual at grave number 34-581 was not a farewell to one man alone. a reverent crowd of the powerful and the ordinary -- president

Mary Landrieu

6:22:02 to 6:22:22( Edit History Discussion )

Mary Landrieu: obama, vice president biden, laborers and store clerks, heads bowed -- came to salute buckles' deceased generation, the vanished millions of soldiers and sailors he came to symbolize in the end. who were they? not the troops of the greatest generation so celebrated these

Mary Landrieu

6:22:23 to 6:22:43( Edit History Discussion )

Mary Landrieu: days but the unheralded ones of 1917 and 1918 who came home to pats on the back and little else in an era before the country embraced and rewarded its veterans. their 20th century narrative poignant and meaningful is seldom recalled. i know my father would want me

Mary Landrieu

6:22:44 to 6:23:06( Edit History Discussion )

Mary Landrieu: to be here, said mike oliver, 73, a retiree from alexandria leaning on a cane near the cemetery's amphitheater hours before the burial. inside, a hushed procession of visitors filed past buckles' closed coffin in the chapel. i'm here for mr. buckles. i'm here for what he represents, oliver said. on his left lapel, he wore a

Mary Landrieu

6:23:07 to 6:23:27( Edit History Discussion )

Mary Landrieu: tiny gold pin, the insignia of his long dead father's infantry division in world war i, the army's 80th. i'm here to say goodbye to my dad, he said. buckles, who fibbed his way into the army at 16, was a rear echelon ambulance driver in war-ravaged france, miles behind the battle front.

Mary Landrieu

6:23:28 to 6:23:48( Edit History Discussion )

Mary Landrieu: more than 116,000 americans died, about half in the fighting but most of the rest from illnesses in the nation's 19-month-long engagement in a conflict that scorched europe for four years. now the veterans who survived are all gone. what's left is remembrance, the

Mary Landrieu

6:23:49 to 6:24:10( Edit History Discussion )

Mary Landrieu: collective story of 4.7 million lives, an obituary for a generation. arriving stateside in 1918 and 1919, many of them scared in mind and limb, they were met by post-war recession and joblessness. a lot of veterans thought that they were owed a boost, that

Mary Landrieu

6:24:11 to 6:24:31( Edit History Discussion )

Mary Landrieu: they ought to be compensated for the good civilian wages they had missed, but unfortunately -- those are my words, unfortunately the words are but lawmakers after a year said no -- year after year said no. oh, the ymca did give me a one-month free membership, buckles recalled when he was a very old fellow.

Mary Landrieu

6:24:32 to 6:24:53( Edit History Discussion )

Mary Landrieu: except for the $60 that most veterans got from the government when they mustered out, the ymca gift was the only consideration i ever saw given to a soldier after the war, the last doughboy said. what he and other veterans finally received in 1924 were bonus certificates redeemable

Mary Landrieu

6:24:54 to 6:25:14( Edit History Discussion )

Mary Landrieu: for cash in 1945, and congress had the right -- had to override a veto to secure even that. with the 1920's roaring by them, the young veterans tucked away their certificates and went about their lives. buckles became a purser on merchant ships traveling the globe.

Mary Landrieu

6:25:15 to 6:25:36( Edit History Discussion )

Mary Landrieu: then the depression hit, and their legacy took on another aspect, one of activism that helped propel a reshaping of the nation's landscape. thousands of ruined veterans were left with nothing of value but the promise of eventual bonuses. in 1932 while buckles was at sea, a rag-tag army of exservicemen descended on washington with their wives and

Mary Landrieu

6:25:37 to 6:25:58( Edit History Discussion )

Mary Landrieu: kids to lobby for early redemption of the certificates and a disaster ensued that would long reverberate. and this is the part that i had no idea about and i think it's important to recall it and to remember it. living for weeks in a sprawling shanty town in mud flats in the anacostia and in tents and

Mary Landrieu

6:25:59 to 6:26:20( Edit History Discussion )

Mary Landrieu: hovels near the u.s. capitol, the dirt poor -- quote -- bonus army numbering more than 20,000 defied orders to disperse so the army unleashed infantry. the veterans were routed in the melee of blood and tear gas.

Mary Landrieu

6:26:21 to 6:26:41( Edit History Discussion )

Mary Landrieu: then soldiers cleared out the anacostia shacks and set them ablaze. two veterans died, hundreds were injured. four years later, after a florida hurricane killed 259 destitute veterans at a make-shift federal work camp, political support finally tipped for the bonuses, and the

Mary Landrieu

6:26:42 to 6:27:03( Edit History Discussion )

Mary Landrieu: generation that fought world war i finally got a substantial benefit. i think mine was $800, buckles said of his bonus, equal to 12,000 today, but he said he gave it to his father, an oklahoma dust bowl farmer barely hanging on. the bonus army debacle weighed

Mary Landrieu

6:27:04 to 6:27:24( Edit History Discussion )

Mary Landrieu: on congress and the roosevelt administration during world war ii with 60 million americans in uniform, more than three times the world war i total. policymakers feared massive unrest if new veterans got the same shabby treatment that the buckles generation had received. the result in 1944 was the g.i. bill.

Mary Landrieu

6:27:25 to 6:27:45( Edit History Discussion )

Mary Landrieu: widely viewed as the most far-reaching social program in u.s. history, and i would only underscore to say widely viewed as the most far-reaching social program in world history. it made college and homeownership possible for the great wave of returning world war ii veterans when such opportunities were considered

Mary Landrieu

6:27:46 to 6:28:08( Edit History Discussion )

Mary Landrieu: luxuries and spurred a vast decades-long expansion of america's middle class. unfortunately for the veterans of buckles' era, the bill was not retroactive. tuesday's hour-long viewing in the amphitheater chapel was consolation. buckles' family and members of west virginia congressional delegation had wanted him to lie

Mary Landrieu

6:28:09 to 6:28:30( Edit History Discussion )

Mary Landrieu: in honor here, but it was not to be permissible, but so the people of arlington came to say goodbye, a generation's end. when senator -- when muriel sue kerr met buckles -- this was his wife in the 1970's -- she was a secretary at the alexandria headquarters of veterans of

Mary Landrieu

6:28:31 to 6:28:52( Edit History Discussion )

Mary Landrieu: world war i, had a large office staff and at the time scores of chapels across the country and a quarter million members out of 750,000 surviving veterans. thecommander who got the title in 2008 when the only other living member, a florida man, passed away. the group was formed in 1948

Mary Landrieu

6:28:53 to 6:29:15( Edit History Discussion )

Mary Landrieu: after millions of world war ii veterans swelled the ranks. it goes on to say, the world war ii guys had business loans, home loans, education, all kinds of things. my world war i guys nothing. they said, okay, we'll start other own bunch. so it included buckles, who was captured by the japanese while working in manila in the pacific

Mary Landrieu

6:29:16 to 6:29:37( Edit History Discussion )

Mary Landrieu: and although he spent world war ii in an enemy prison can, he was a civilian, so the g.i. bill didn't extend to him. in 1974, kerr was hired. most of the men when kerr -- when kerr was hired, most of the men were retired.

Mary Landrieu

6:29:38 to 6:29:59( Edit History Discussion )

Mary Landrieu: they came to washington by a busload, they wanted money for hearing aids and dentures and a little pension. good ol' h.r. 1918, a bill they were always putting in to give them $50 a month. but of course it never passed. just a lot of memories now, the

Mary Landrieu

6:30:00 to 6:30:20( Edit History Discussion )

Mary Landrieu: lobbying, the quarterly magazine. time ran out for all but the hard did iest of the veterans of world war i. they died fast. by 193 when the office shut for good, kerr said she was the only staff member left. she got phone calls for some of the few remaining members whose frail voices broke her heart.

Mary Landrieu

6:30:21 to 6:30:41( Edit History Discussion )

Mary Landrieu: the typical sad things you'll hear from the elderly, she said, "i had one of my guys. he was absolutely in tears. he was from nevada and his new nurse would not cut the crust off of his sandwich." they were buried with honors use

Mary Landrieu

6:30:42 to 6:31:04( Edit History Discussion )

Mary Landrieu: it tuesday as scores scattered the hillside, a distant generation, the last cared for by his family till the end. in the waning afternoon, the soldiers of the burial detail strode up the avenue from the grand marble amphitheatre to section 34 of the cemetery exsupreme courting horse-drawn

Mary Landrieu

6:31:05 to 6:31:25( Edit History Discussion )

Mary Landrieu: cais buckles' medalled coffin, the procession slow and deliberate like the march of time. after the prayer and the echoes of the biewg and the rifles faded, the army's chief of staff, general peter chiarelli knelt before buckles' daughter and hand her a trifolded american flag.

Mary Landrieu

6:31:26 to 6:31:47( Edit History Discussion )

Mary Landrieu: he whispered words of comfort and then stood and walked away. no more dough boyce now. so long, rest in peace. no more doughboys now. so long. rest in peace. i t this was an article worth putting in the "congressional record." i am please that i had the time today before senators came to

Mary Landrieu

6:31:48 to 6:32:09( Edit History Discussion )

Mary Landrieu: the floor to actually read it into the record so that we can take a pause to remember on this week the burial of the last veteran of world war i and what an obligation we have to our veterans today and the kind of determination that we must

Mary Landrieu

6:32:10 to 6:32:30( Edit History Discussion )

Mary Landrieu: continue to foster, to honor them for the sablingifieses they made, whether it was this generation which we in large measure failed to do, the veterans of world war i i, the veterans of korea, vietnam, desert storm, our veterans from iraq and from afghanistan who are currently fighting those battles.

Mary Landrieu

6:32:31 to 6:32:50( Edit History Discussion )

Mary Landrieu: and it just helps us to remember, madam president, that the important work that we do here, the bills passing, particularly bills that provide these kinds of fair and equitable benefits is most certainly something the federal government must continue to keep as one of its highest priorities.

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