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Senate Proceeding on Jun 28th, 2010 :: 0:25:45 to 0:41:50
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John Rockefeller

0:25:41 to 0:26:01( Edit History Discussion )

John Rockefeller: family today in remembering our colleague. we will surely miss him. mr. president, i yield the floor. a senator: the presiding officer: the senator from west virginia. mr. rockefeller: mr. president, on this day, west virginia lost probably its most prominent

John Rockefeller

0:25:45 to 0:41:50( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: John Rockefeller

John Rockefeller

0:26:02 to 0:26:22( Edit History Discussion )

John Rockefeller: son, and the senate has lost probably its most able statesman. for myself, i have lost an admired colleague and a treasured friend. more than nine decades of remarkable life and five decades

John Rockefeller

0:26:23 to 0:26:44( Edit History Discussion )

John Rockefeller: of an accomplished public servant in the senate only serve as one form of proof that robert c. byrd was and always will be an icon, particularly in his own state, a man of great character, faith, intellect, who rose to the heights of power yet never

John Rockefeller

0:26:45 to 0:27:08( Edit History Discussion )

John Rockefeller: forgot where he came from. his story holds such a profoundly significant place in both west virginia and american history, but it was in the coal fields of southern west virginia, mr. president, where a young robert c. byrd first gained the skills, the moral

John Rockefeller

0:27:09 to 0:27:29( Edit History Discussion )

John Rockefeller: character, the toughness, the shrewdness that would make him a truly great man. after his mother passed away, he was raised by his aunt and uncle a coal miner he movingly called -- quote -- "the most remarkable man i have ever been privileged to know."

John Rockefeller

0:27:30 to 0:27:51( Edit History Discussion )

John Rockefeller: cle quote. from them, senator byrd learned early in life what it meant to be loyal, to have a ferocious work ethic, really almost beyond imagination, and possess a deep faith in god, and it was these values, these innately west

John Rockefeller

0:27:52 to 0:28:12( Edit History Discussion )

John Rockefeller: virginia values, i would argue, that guarded -- that guided his offer action, made him such a unique and strong fighter for our state and who got such joy in doing that fight. he was proud of west virginia. he was proud of his ideals.

John Rockefeller

0:28:13 to 0:28:34( Edit History Discussion )

John Rockefeller: he was proud of the service he could render to the people from whom he came. he believed with all of his heart that our breathtaking mountains, our rivers and our deep valleys and especially our well-rooted people who face

John Rockefeller

0:28:35 to 0:28:55( Edit History Discussion )

John Rockefeller: adversity always and face it with strength and courage make our state a place like none quite other in the world. he loved the music of the mountains and played his fiddle, in fact, very brilliantly.

John Rockefeller

0:28:56 to 0:29:17( Edit History Discussion )

John Rockefeller: he was a master violin player. he loved to quote the ancients lending deptsd to his a -- depth to his analysis. just as easily as he could quote cicero from memory, he could

John Rockefeller

0:29:18 to 0:29:38( Edit History Discussion )

John Rockefeller: sing every verse of amazing grace and often did. everything about senator byrd was a testament to his faith in god. this man who wrote and debated countless laws lived with 10 clear commandments in his heart.

John Rockefeller

0:29:39 to 0:29:59( Edit History Discussion )

John Rockefeller: his aunt and uncle kept the king james bible in his home and instilled in him a reverence he never forgot. there was always a higher law that took precedence.

John Rockefeller

0:30:00 to 0:30:20( Edit History Discussion )

John Rockefeller: he started his career humbly by any definition. as a butcher, as a welder, other things too, than campaigned by playing his foot-stomping music,

John Rockefeller

0:30:21 to 0:30:44( Edit History Discussion )

John Rockefeller: the fiddle, to get elected to the legislature. the very same body that decades later would deem him the west virginiaian of the 20th century. it was a mark -- it was at mark twain high school where a lifetime of love first began for robert c. byrd and his first

John Rockefeller

0:30:45 to 0:31:06( Edit History Discussion )

John Rockefeller: wife, erma ora james calling her the wind beneath this byrd's wings, he put it. senator byrd was never shy to tell you, erma, a beloved coal miner's daughter was the reason he reached all of his goals. he believed that with all of his heart. so from the fiddle-playing young

John Rockefeller

0:31:07 to 0:31:30( Edit History Discussion )

John Rockefeller: man, to a history-making american icon, she loved and supported him every step of the way until her passing in 2006. i know and i observed maybe earlier than some that senator

John Rockefeller

0:31:31 to 0:31:52( Edit History Discussion )

John Rockefeller: byrd lost just a bit when erma died. watching him hurting was painful. his wife died from the same disease that my mother died from, and that is alzheimer's. and we talked about it. especially a few years ago when

John Rockefeller

0:31:53 to 0:32:15( Edit History Discussion )

John Rockefeller: he was talking more frequently. i always felt badly that i couldn't give him comfort, that i couldn't say something to him that would relinquish his pain, which was evident an obvious -- and obvious, very obvious, in privacy.

John Rockefeller

0:32:16 to 0:32:37( Edit History Discussion )

John Rockefeller: but i couldn't do that because you couldn't do that for diseases like that one. ther were not words to describe the difficulty at such a -- that such a devastating loss can bring. and i commend my friend for continuing on so strongly as he did for so long.

John Rockefeller

0:32:38 to 0:33:00( Edit History Discussion )

John Rockefeller: erma was his soul mate, his best friend and trusted counselor. their marriage was something to behold. my wife, sharon, and i loved watching them together. he became a different person. they radiated an extraordinary faith in god, in each other, and

John Rockefeller

0:33:01 to 0:33:24( Edit History Discussion )

John Rockefeller: the beautiful family they built with each other which, in the end, he loved the must. indeed, it was the time that robert c. byrd spent with his daughters and their husband and children and grandchildren and great grandchildren that brought

John Rockefeller

0:33:25 to 0:33:45( Edit History Discussion )

John Rockefeller: great joy to his life. with sadness in my heart, i also have joy at the thought of my friend united with his precious erma, with his dear grandson that he lost at a young age, and we all know, those of us who have been here for several years, the agonyha he went

John Rockefeller

0:33:46 to 0:34:07( Edit History Discussion )

John Rockefeller: through at the death of that young man, setting up a shrine in his office. it affected him deeply. it was interesting that a man who could be so oriented toward policy and sometimes almost remote from personal matters as

John Rockefeller

0:34:08 to 0:34:28( Edit History Discussion )

John Rockefeller: a professional self-definition could be so utterly moved by sadness in his own life and i think in the lives of others. it was in the halls of the united states senate where robert c. byrd became known as the soul of the senate, a fierce defender of the constitution,

John Rockefeller

0:34:29 to 0:34:52( Edit History Discussion )

John Rockefeller: respected historian, and an absolutely fearless legislator. he held, as has been said many times before, more leadership posts than any other senator, cast more votes than any other senator, served longer than any other senator. and one can go on in many i was in that theme.

John Rockefeller

0:34:55 to 0:35:16( Edit History Discussion )

John Rockefeller: he literally wrote the you a athorrive procedures of the senate. taught all of us about that in classes which he would conduct in the -- you would see him standing in the well of the senate. he loved and he revered this institution. everybody says that. it's true.

John Rockefeller

0:35:17 to 0:35:38( Edit History Discussion )

John Rockefeller: some people pass through this institution. they experience this institution. he lived this institution. yet, still his entire career was fundamentally an act of commitment to the state of west virginia and its people. a day in and day out effort to do the best he possibly could

John Rockefeller

0:35:39 to 0:35:59( Edit History Discussion )

John Rockefeller: for the people of the mountain state. always put upon, often looked down upon, disdained by others who didn't understand what their life was like and what it was like to be a coal miner. people don't understand west

John Rockefeller

0:36:00 to 0:36:21( Edit History Discussion )

John Rockefeller: virginia well. most people don't go there. senator byrd sprung from west virginia. yes, he was an intensely devoted statesman and he put himself through law school while also serving in congress. now i know a few others have done that. i sort of deny that. i think it's amazing that senator byrd did that,

John Rockefeller

0:36:22 to 0:36:43( Edit History Discussion )

John Rockefeller: therefore, any other who did it, don't get my attention. he understood that people with the fortitude to ask questions and to debate and to dissent one fr another make america stronger. he had that courage himself standing up time and time again to defend his ideals upon which our nation was founded and often

John Rockefeller

0:36:44 to 0:37:05( Edit History Discussion )

John Rockefeller: those ideas were very different from those of others. no matter with senator byrd. he always spoke for wt he felt was correct. as the minority leader pointed out, the senator always had the constitution in his pocket, close to his heart.

John Rockefeller

0:37:06 to 0:37:26( Edit History Discussion )

John Rockefeller: and et outlasted -- and he outlasted presidents and supreme court justices, served with an absolute insistence on the equality of the three branches of government as envisioned by our founding fathers, and, therefore, helped us as a body be more than our separate parts.

John Rockefeller

0:37:27 to 0:37:50( Edit History Discussion )

John Rockefeller: and he spread the words of our constitution to young children and to his colleagues alike. his patriotism was strong and he was confident infusing his every action with deep devotion for our nation and its people.

John Rockefeller

0:37:51 to 0:38:11( Edit History Discussion )

John Rockefeller: a senator from a state that sent legions of sons and daughters to war out of love of country, somemes out of a need to get work. he supported our troops whether he agreed with their cause or not. fought for our veterans and worked hard to make sure tt

John Rockefeller

0:38:12 to 0:38:32( Edit History Discussion )

John Rockefeller: those who served our country got the respect, the support, the supplies that they needed and that they deserved. he also earned the loyalty of west virginiaians with a record of support for education an economic opportunity that few senators at any time in any state, in my judgment, could

John Rockefeller

0:38:33 to 0:38:55( Edit History Discussion )

John Rockefeller: ever match. to him every school building or education grant was a chance for a better life for some west virginia child or maybe quite a lot of cldren. and he cared about that. and he helped that become true. every overpass, every road

John Rockefeller

0:38:56 to 0:39:17( Edit History Discussion )

John Rockefeller: represented an opportunity for a more dynamic for our cities and towns that cld be taken for granted in some places, but not west virginia. unless there's a road or a bridge, you can't build anything anywhere or virtually do anything anywhere.

John Rockefeller

0:39:18 to 0:39:39( Edit History Discussion )

John Rockefeller: every business partner or government office meant the possibility of a better job for west virginiaians trying to raise their families. people he fought for all of his life. senator byrd also believed that health care is one of the most important ways to strenhen a community and his support for medical research resulted in breakthrough medical opportunities.

John Rockefeller

0:39:40 to 0:40:00( Edit History Discussion )

John Rockefeller: he spread this research all across west virginia, to west virginia the university, to marshall, to institutions of all kinds. he believed in medical research and did more than most of our colleagues even know.

John Rockefeller

0:40:01 to 0:40:23( Edit History Discussion )

John Rockefeller: and so in a state with rugged terrain full of people like the family who raised him, doing their best for their family, for their country, for their god, robert c. byrd decided that somebody needed to do the best for them. and he did so each and every day of his life.

John Rockefeller

0:40:24 to 0:40:44( Edit History Discussion )

John Rockefeller: to me he was a perfect colleague and a reliable friend, a walking example of the kind of american that i believe in and a living testament to the values that made west virginia my own home forever. it has been my greatest privilege to serve with robert c. byrd in the united states senate.

John Rockefeller

0:40:45 to 0:41:07( Edit History Discussion )

John Rockefeller: i respected him. and i fought side by side with him for causes we both believed in. and obviously i'm profoundly saddened that he is gone. so i'm closing, mr. president, -- so in closing, mr. president, i think he lves a

John Rockefeller

0:41:08 to 0:41:30( Edit History Discussion )

John Rockefeller: void that probably cannot be filled, but i'm lifted by the knowledge of his deep and abiding faith and that he is in the hands of the one who inspired these words in amazing grace, yae, when this -- yea when this heart and flesh shall

John Rockefeller

0:41:31 to 0:41:50( Edit History Discussion )

John Rockefeller: fail, i shall possess within the veil a life of joy and peace. that gives all of us some comfort. so peace and godspeed, senator byrd. peace to your family, your loyal staff and to the loving people of west virginia who have held

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