(Extensions of Remarks - May 30, 1996)

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[Extensions of Remarks]
[Page E956]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office []

                   IN MEMORY OF MAJ. AUDIE L. MURPHY


                           HON. RALPH M. HALL

                                of texas

                    in the house of representatives

                         Thursday, May 30, 1996

  Mr. HALL of Texas. Mr. Speaker, today marks the 25th anniversary of 
the death of the most decorated soldier of World War II and a genuine 
national hero--the late Audie Leon Murphy--who was a native of the 
Fourth District of Texas as well as a personal friend of mine. It is a 
special privilege for me today to pay tribute to this legendary 
American, and I would like to do so on behalf of the entire Texas 
Delegation as well as on behalf of his hometown friends and relatives 
in Farmersville, TX, and on behalf of the late Congressman Olin Teague 
of Texas who first paid tribute to Audie Murphy in the Congressional 
Record on October 13, 1971--on the occasion of the dedication of the 
Audie Leon Murphy Hospital for veterans in San Antonio.
  Audie Murphy was indeed a legend in his own time--and a hero for all 
times. For his valor in combat and action above and beyond the call of 
duty, he received every medal the Army awards. He earned the Silver 
Star twice in 3 days, three Purple Hearts, the Distinguished Service 
Cross, and the Medal of Honor.
  The Citation to the Medal of Honor recognized 2d. Lt. Audie Murphy, 
15th Infantry, for his valor on January 26, 1945, near Holtzwihr, 
France. His Company B was attacked by six tanks and waves of infantry. 
Second Lieutenant Murphy ordered his men to withdraw to prepare 
positions in a woods, while he remained forward at his command post to 
direct the artillery. One of his company's tank destroyers received a 
direct hit and began to burn. Lieutenant Murphy climbed on the burning 
tank destroyer and trained its machinegun on the enemy, killing dozens 
and causing their infantry attack to waver. He held his position for 
more than an hour, received a leg wound, but continued the fight until 
his ammunition was exhausted. He then made his way to his company, 
refused medical attention, and organized the company in a counterattack 
which forced the enemy to withdraw. The Citation states, ``Lieutenant 
Murphy's indomitable courage and his refusal to give an inch of ground 
saved his company from possible encirclement and destruction, and 
enabled it to hold the woods which had been the enemy's objective.''
  Audie received the Distinguished Service Cross for his extraordinary 
heroism on August 15, 1994, near Ramatuelle, France. On this date, 
according to the award citation, ``His extraordinary heroism resulted 
in the capture of a fiercely contested enemy-held hill and the 
annihilation or capture of the entire enemy garrison.''
  And yet Audie believed that his medals belonged to every man in his 
company, and he always maintained that he was just ``another man.'' His 
humility stemmed perhaps from a humble beginning near Kingston, TX and 
years of living in poverty. Audie had to quit school in the eighth 
grade to help support his mother and eight siblings. He hunted small 
games to supply food for the family, and became an expert marksman. He 
took odd jobs wherever he could find them--on a farm, a filling 
station, and grocery store, a radio repair shop. But Audie made up for 
his lack of education with a brilliant mind, great dignity, and a sense 
of composure that impressed all those who met him.

  Following the war, James Cagney extended him an invitation to visit 
Hollywood, where he signed an acting contract. His best-selling 
autobiography, ``To Hell and Back,'' was made into a successful movie 
in which Audie played the starring role. His specialty was small-budget 
westerns, but Audie never really liked acting, and he pursued several 
business ventures over the years. It was on one of these ventures that 
he was killed in a plane crash near Roanoke, VA, on May 30, 1971. He 
left behind his wife of 20 years, Pamela Archer, two sons, Terry and 
James Shannon, other family members and hundreds of friends and 
  Since that time the Audie L. Murphy National Memorial Tribute 
Committee, headed by Louis J. Parillo, has honored his memory by 
awarding the ALM Patriotism Portrait Awards. The awards are presented 
in groups of three to represent our Nation's Triad Defense System, and 
this 25th anniversary of Audie's death will mark the final 
presentation. Recipients in the order presented, include: The American 
Security Council, Maj. Gen. John K. Singlaub, USA Ret., Gen. William C. 
Westmoreland, USA Ret.; Gen. Louis H. Wilson, USMC Ret., The Marine 
Attack Squadron 131, 4th Marine Air Wing, Fourth Marine Division; Gen. 
Omar Bradley, USA Ret., 28th Division PNG, First Army; Headquarters 3rd 
Infantry Division U.S. Army, 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old 
Guard), U.S. Army Parachute Team (Golden Knights; North American Air 
Defense Command, 112th Fighter Group, Pennsylvania ANG, 910th Special 
Operations Group, USAFR; City of New Castle, PA, County of Lawrence, 
Pennsylvania, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania; Department of the Army, 
Department of the Navy, Department of Defense; Robert Bleier (Trustee 
for Vietnam Veterans), Congressman Olin ``Tiger'' Teague 
(posthumously), President Ronald W. Reagan; The Honorable William J. 
Perry, Secretary of Defense, The American Legion, and Veterans of 
Foreign Wars.
  In closing, Mr. Speaker, we are joined today by Audie Murphy's 
family, his friends, and his many fans in paying this final tribute to 
WWII's most decorated war hero. Perhaps the finest tribute would be to 
place in the Congressional Record two odes composed by Audie Leon 
Murphy. These reflect his thoughts and feelings for his fallen comrades 
and reveal to us, more than any words of our own could possibly reveal, 
the full measure of this great American.

                         Alone and Far Removed

     Alone and far removed from earthly care
     The noble ruins of men lie buried here.
     You were strong men, good men
     Endowed with youth and much the will to live.
     I hear no protest from the mute lips of the dead.
     They rest; there is no more to give.

               Freedom Flies in Your Heart Like an Eagle

     Dusty old helmet, rusty old gun,
     They sit in the corner and wait--
     Two souvenirs of the Second World War
     That have withstood the time, and the hate.

     Mute witness to a time of much trouble,
     Where kill or be killed was the law--
     Were these implements used with high honor?
     What was the glory they saw?

     Many times I've wanted to ask them--
     And now that we're here all alone,
     Relics all three of a long ago war--
     Where has freedom gone?

     Freedom flies in your heart like an eagle.
     Let it soar with the winds high above
     Among the spirits of soldiers now sleeping,
     Guard it with care and with love.

     I salute my old friends in the corner.
     I agree with all they have said--
     And if the moment of truth comes tomorrow,
     I'll be free, or By God, I'll be dead!