September 24, 2001 - Bill Introduced to honor Sargent Shriver with Congressional Gold Medal

Peace Corps Online: Peace Corps News: Headlines: Peace Corps Headlines - 2001: 11 November 2001 Peace Corps Headlines: September 24, 2001 - Bill Introduced to honor Sargent Shriver with Congressional Gold Medal

By Admin1 (admin) on Thursday, November 08, 2001 - 10:23 am: Edit Post

A bill has been introduced by RPCV and Congressman Sam Farr to honor Sargent Shriver with a Congressional Gold Medal:

BILL TO HONOR FORMER PEACE CORPS DIRECTOR

Sept. 24, 2001

REP. FARR TOURS GROUND ZERO; INTRODUCES BILL TO HONOR FORMER PEACE CORPS DIRECTOR

"The 40th anniversary of the Peace Corps comes on the heels of the worst attack of violence on U.S. soil that our nation has ever known," Rep. Farr said

(Washington, DC) Congressman Sam Farr (D-Carmel) introduced legislation to award the Peace Corps' first director, Sargent Shriver, with a Congressional Gold Medal

"The Congressional Gold Medal is the highest honor that Congress can bestow on an individual, and I can think of no one who deserves it more than Sargent Shriver, " Rep. Farr said. The legislation was co-sponsored by the five other members of the House of Representatives who served in the Peace Corps.

Over the weekend, Rep. Farr shared the podium with Sargent Shriver at a 40th anniversary celebration of the Peace Corps on Saturday that was transformed into a vigil for the victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Rep. Farr was master of ceremonies at the anniversary event, which was held at the Lincoln Memorial.

On Sunday, Rep. Farr joined other members of Congress in touring the ruins of the World Trade Center in New York City.

"As fate would have it, the 40th anniversary of the Peace Corps comes on the heels of the worst attack of violence on U.S. soil that our nation has ever known," Rep. Farr added. "In these dire times we must keep in perspective mankind's potential for doing good, and that is what the Peace Corps is all about."

Rep. Farr served in Peace Corps in the mid-1960s, as a volunteer in Colombia. The other members of the House who served in the Peace Corps include Democrat Mike Honda of San Jose; Democrat Tony Hall of Ohio; and Republicans Christopher Shays of Connecticut, Thomas Petri of Wisconsin and James Walsh of New York

H.R. 2949 authorizes President Bush to present Shriver with a gold medal that features the Peace Corps emblem, the likeness of Shriver and the names of all Peace Corps directors.

As the Peace Corps' first director, from 1961 to 1966, Shriver developed volunteer activities in more than 50 countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Shriver has also been awarded with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and he served as U.S. Ambassador to France, President and Chairman of the Board of the Special Olympics.

In its first 40 years, the Peace Corps has trained 163,000 volunteers to serve in 135 countries working on projects involving education, the environment, public health, business and agriculture.

On Sunday, Rep. Farr joined nine other members of Congress to tour the ruins of the Sept. 11 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center.

The group traveled to New York by train with a group of search and rescue workers from various California Fire Departments. They also visited several groups helping FEMA with rescue efforts. They were taken to ground zero by a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers boat. There they heard accounts of the rescue efforts from firefighters, police and members of the U.S. Army and National Guard.

Afterward, the group took the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers boat to the U.S. Comfort, the Navy hospital ship that had been sent to ground zero to treat the injured.

"We were struck by the cruel irony that this cutting-edge hospital, equipped with the best technology that modern medicine has to offer, was sitting largely empty because so few of the victims of this tragedy were found alive," Rep. Farr said.

Before returning to Washington, D.C., the delegation toured the Jacob Javits Center, a convention center used as a staging ground and logistical center for FEMA teams and other rescue efforts.

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By Admin1 (admin) on Thursday, November 08, 2001 - 10:27 am: Edit Post

Here is an email from the NPCA advocacy listserv asking for support for the bill:

SUPPORT SHRIVER CONGRESSIONAL GOLD MEDAL NOW

NPCA has been informed by Representative Sam Farr (D-CA), an RPCV (Colombia), that House Resolution 2949 to honor Sargent Shriver, first Director of the Peace Corps, with a Congressional Gold Medal, was introduced in the House on September 25, cosponsored by all six RPCV members of Congress (Farr, Shays, Walsh, Hall, Honda, Petri). The Resolution now has 70 co-sponsors and needs bipartisan support with 290 co-sponsors to clear the House. Please contact your House members and urge them to sign on as cosponsors and support the Resolution with their colleagues as well.

For information on HR 2949 and co-sponsors, see http://www.thomas.loc.gov and for information on phone numbers of your representatives, see http://www.house.gov, at "House Directory."

Ed Crane, NPCA Advocacy Coordinator, advocacy@rpcv.org


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