RECOGNIZING AND COMMENDING ALL WHO PARTICIPATED IN AND SUPPORTED OPERATION ENDURING FREEDOM IN AFGHANISTAN AND OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM IN IRAQ; Congressional Record Vol. 149, No. 83
(Extensions of Remarks - June 09, 2003)

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[Extensions of Remarks]
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   RECOGNIZING AND COMMENDING ALL WHO PARTICIPATED IN AND SUPPORTED 
 OPERATION ENDURING FREEDOM IN AFGHANISTAN AND OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM 
                                IN IRAQ

                                 ______
                                 

                               speech of

                         HON. ALCEE L. HASTINGS

                               of florida

                    in the house of representatives

                        Wednesday, June 4, 2003

  Mr. HASTINGS of Florida. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of H. 
Con. Res. 177. This resolution acknowledges the accomplishments of the 
U.S. armed forces and expresses the deep gratitude of the nation to the 
21 steadfast allies and coalition members in Afghanistan and Iraq. It 
also commends Defense Department civilians and contractors for their 
work and support.
  It is a privilege to take a few minutes to pay tribute to the men and 
women who distinguish themselves daily in selfless service to this 
nation. More than 1.4 million men and women make up America's active 
and reserve forces, and over 300,000 of them are deployed for military 
action in Afghanistan and Iraq.
  In addition to their duties as soldiers, members of the armed forces 
also serve as our nation's unofficial ambassadors.-They represent the 
very best of what this nation stands for--honor, loyalty, and a 
commitment to enhancing freedom and democracy throughout the world. The 
men and women now serving in Iraq and Afghanistan have the unique 
opportunity to demonstrate to the world that the United States cannot 
only win wars, it can help emerging nations become self-governing as 
well. Maintaining the peace and nation building in these two countries 
promises to be a lengthy and time-consuming process. I am pleased to 
offer my support to this resolution and call on my colleagues on both 
sides of the aisle to reaffirm our commitment to our nation's goals in 
these two countries.
  H. Con. Res. 177 also conveys the deepest sympathy and condolences to 
the families of service members killed or wounded during these 
operations, and calls on communities across the country to prepare 
appropriate ceremonies to commemorate with tributes and days of 
remembrance their service and sacrifice.
  Sixty-seven United States military and civilians lost their lives in 
Afghanistan and 140 died in Iraq so far. By any measure, their 
contributions, in terms of human sacrifice, are immense. As a nation we 
share the sense of loss that their families are experiencing. We must 
never forget that the peace and prosperity that we enjoy are founded on 
the ultimate sacrifices made by those who have lost their lives in war 
throughout our nation's history.

                          ____________________