Text: H.Res.586 — 109th Congress (2005-2006)All Information (Except Text)

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Engrossed in House (12/20/2005)

[Congressional Bills 109th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]
[H. Res. 586 Engrossed in House (EH)]

H. Res. 586

                 In the House of Representatives, U.S.,

                      December 19 (legislative day, December 18), 2005.
Whereas Alan A. Reich was a well respected and loved member of his family and an 
        inspirational figure in the disability community, whose life was devoted 
        to civic involvement and efforts to improve the quality of life for 
        individuals with disabilities;
Whereas Alan Reich was born in Pearl River, New York;
Whereas Alan Reich graduated from Dartmouth College in 1952, where he was an 
        all-American track and field athlete, received a Master's degree in 
        Russian literature from Middlebury College in 1953, along with a diploma 
        in Slavic languages and Eastern European studies from the University of 
        Oxford, and received an M.B.A. from Harvard University in 1959;
Whereas Alan Reich was a brilliant linguist, who spoke 5 languages;
Whereas Alan Reich served in the United States Army from 1953 to 1957, as an 
        infantry officer and Russian language interrogation officer in Germany, 
        and was named a member of the United States Army Infantry Officer 
        Candidate School Hall of Fame;
Whereas Alan Reich married his best friend and partner in life, Gay Forsythe 
        Reich; they shared 50 years of marriage and were deeply committed to 
        each other and their three children--James, Jeffrey, and Elizabeth;
Whereas Alan Reich was employed from 1960 to 1970 as an executive at Polaroid 
        Corporation when, at age 32, he became a quadriplegic due to a swimming 
        accident which required him to use a wheelchair;
Whereas, while Alan Reich was told he would not drive or write again, he 
        relearned both skills and returned to work at Polaroid Corporation;
Whereas Alan Reich joined the State Department from 1970 to 1975, as a Deputy 
        Assistant Secretary for Educational and Cultural Affairs;
Whereas Alan Reich then served as Director of the Bureau of East-West Trade for 
        the Department of Commerce, before he was named the President of the 
        United States Council for the International Year of Disabled Persons in 
Whereas, in this position, Alan Reich was the first wheelchair user to address 
        the United Nations General Assembly when it opened the International 
        Year of the Disabled in 1981;
Whereas, in 1982, Alan Reich transformed the Council into the National 
        Organization on Disability, an organization that is active on a local, 
        state, and national level in seeking full and equal participation for 
        people with disabilities in all aspects of life;
Whereas Alan Reich founded the Bimillennium Foundation in 1984, to encourage 
        leaders of nations worldwide to set year 2000 goals aimed at improving 
        the lives of people with disabilities;
Whereas Alan Reich also served as Chairman of the People-to-People Committee on 
        Disability, Chairman of the Paralysis Cure Research Foundation and 
        President of the National Paraplegia Foundation;
Whereas Alan Reich, who used a wheelchair for 43 years, led an effort that 
        raised $1,650,000 to add the statue of President Franklin D. Roosevelt 
        in a wheelchair to the former President's Memorial in Washington, DC, 
        for reasons that he best expressed himself at the unveiling of the 
        statue: ``The unveiling is a major national moment, the removal of the 
        shroud of shame that cloaks disability. The statue will become a shrine 
        to people with disabilities, but it will also inspire everyone to 
        overcome obstacles. When you see the memorial that follows the statue, 
        what will be in your mind is that he did all this from a wheelchair.'';
Whereas Alan Reich received the George H.W. Bush Medal in July of 2005, 
        established to honor outstanding service under the Americans with 
        Disabilities Act of 1990;
Whereas Alan Reich, through his leadership in the disability community, 
        encouraged millions of Americans with disabilities to overcome obstacles 
        to lead more independent and successful lives;
Whereas Alan Reich is survived by his wife, partner, and best friend, Gay, their 
        two sons James and Jeffrey, their daughter Elizabeth, and 11 
        grandchildren; and
Whereas Alan Reich passed away on November 8, 2005, and the contributions he 
        made to his family, his community, and his Nation will not be forgotten: 
        Now, therefore, be it
    Resolved,  That the House of Representatives--
            (1) honors the life, achievements, and contributions of Alan A. 
        Reich; and
            (2) extends its deepest sympathies to the family of Alan Reich for 
        the loss of a great and generous man.


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