(House of Representatives - April 20, 2004)

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[Pages H2161-H2162]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office []

                              {time}  1430

  Mrs. MILLER of Michigan. Mr. Speaker, I move to suspend the rules and 
pass the bill (H.R. 3855) to designate the facility of the United 
States Postal Service located at 607 Pershing Drive in Laclede, 
Missouri, as the ``General John J. Pershing Post Office''.
  The Clerk read as follows:

                               H.R. 3855

       Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of 
     the United States of America in Congress assembled,


       The facility of the United States Postal Service located at 
     607 Pershing Drive in Laclede, Missouri, shall be known and 
     designated as the ``General John J. Pershing Post Office''.


       Any reference in a law, map, regulation, document, paper, 
     or other record of the United States to the facility referred 
     to in section 1 shall be deemed to be a reference to the 
     General John J. Pershing Post Office.

  The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. Culberson). Pursuant to the rule, the 
gentlewoman from Michigan (Mrs. Miller) and the gentleman from Illinois 
(Mr. Davis) each will control 20 minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentlewoman from Michigan (Mrs. Miller).

                             General Leave

  Mrs. MILLER of Michigan. Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that 
all Members may have 5 legislative days within which to revise and 
extend their remarks and include extraneous material on the bill under 
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the 
gentlewoman from Michigan?
  There was no objection.
  Mrs. MILLER of Michigan. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself as much time as 
I may consume.
  Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of H.R. 3855, which honors one 
of our Nation's greatest patriots and champions of freedom, General 
John Joseph Pershing. This legislation designates the U.S. Postal 
Service facility in Laclede, Missouri, as the General John J. Pershing 
Post Office.
  John Joseph Pershing was born on September 13, 1860, in Linn County, 
Missouri. As a teenager, Pershing became a teacher at a school for 
African American children in Laclede. While later teaching at Prairie 
Mound, he entered and won a competitive examination for an appointment 
to the United States Military Academy at West Point, enrolling in 1882.
  Pershing was only average in his studies at West Point, but he 
excelled in leadership roles and displayed extraordinary soldierly 
qualities. Pershing held the highest possible rank in the Cadet 
Battalion each year; and in 1886 he was elected president of his class, 
and he graduated as senior cadet captain, the highest honor at West 
  Mr. Speaker, General Pershing worked his entire life to protect and 
preserve freedom. His nickname, Black Jack, dates from his service with 
the 10th Cavalry, a unit of the Buffalo Soldiers in Montana. It became 
a subtle accolade to both him and the Buffalo Soldiers he fought with 
and praised. Pershing took the nickname with pride as an honor to the 
soldiers that he fought with. He was concerned about the welfare of all 
soldiers, especially minorities; and as a result of his service in the 
10th Cavalry, Pershing remained instrumental in coordinating minority 
organizations throughout his entire military career.
  Mr. Speaker, General Pershing was a man who consistently praised his 
soldiers and understood their commitments to freedom and to this great 
Nation. Despite his numerous awards and honors, General Pershing was a 
man of humility.
  He was promoted to brigadier general in 1906 over 862 senior 
officers. As a major general, Pershing was appointed commander of the 
American Expeditionary Forces following the U.S. declaration of war 
against Germany.
  The Regular Army at that time consisted of only 25,000 men, and there 
was no reserve core as we know it today. General Pershing literally 
organized an army from scratch. And within a year and a half, the 
national Army consisted of approximately 2.5 million men, a result of 
recruiting and training programs initiated by Pershing. These same 
programs stood as a model for the mobilization training plan of World 
War II.
  Following the Great War, General Pershing became chief of staff to 
the U.S. Army in 1921. Up until his death, he worked to ensure American 
forces were prepared in a changing global environment. He was truly 
ahead of his time as our Nation came to realize our importance on the 
global stage.
  Mr. Speaker, General Pershing's service to this country in World War 
I was so phenomenal that the 66th Congress revived the rank called the 
General of the Armies of the United States. General Pershing was 
appointed to that office on September 3, 1919. He accepted the 
appointment on September 8 of that year and retired with that rank on 
his birthday in 1924.
  General Pershing passed away on July 15, 1948, at Walter Reed 
Hospital in Washington D.C. He was a great American. He stands as an 
inspiration to all those who have served this great Nation in our Armed 
  Mr. Speaker, I commend the gentleman from Missouri for honoring 
General Pershing. This post office will stand as a testament to his 
dedication to freedom and as a permanent token of appreciation from a 
grateful Nation. I encourage all Members of the House to support H.R. 
  Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. DAVIS of Illinois. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may 
  Mr. Speaker, as a Member of the House Government Reform Committee, I 
am pleased to join my colleague in consideration of H.R. 3855, 
legislation naming a postal facility in Laclede, Missouri, after 
General John J. ``Blackjack'' Pershing. This measure, which was 
introduced by the gentleman from Missouri (Mr. Graves) on February 26, 
2004, and unanimously reported by our committee on March 4, 2004, 
enjoys the support and cosponsorship of the entire Missouri delegation.
  John Pershing was born in a small town in Missouri in 1860. He 
graduated from West Point and served in the Spanish-American War, the 
Philippines Insurrection, the Mexican Expedition, and was the overall 
American commander in Europe during World War I.
  Long on experience and recognized as a celebrated hero and soldier, 
the United States Congress honored John Pershing by creating a new 
title, General of the Armies. And following the war, he served as Army 
chief of staff.
  General Pershing died in Washington D.C. at Walter Reed Army Medical 
Center. His funeral, held at the Memorial Amphitheater in Arlington 
National Cemetery, was attended by thousands of Americans as well as 
leaders of government and the military. He was buried according to his 
wishes, under a simple white grave stone in section 34 near the grave 
sites of his Doughboys from World War I.
  Mr. Speaker, it is indeed a fitting honor to name the postal facility 
in Missouri after General Pershing, especially one who was so 
celebrated for his great courage, exceptional ability, and the ability 
to command troops from different races and backgrounds at a time 
unheard of.
  I support this resolution and urge its swift passage.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mrs. MILLER of Michigan. Mr. Speaker, I commend the gentleman

[[Page H2162]]

from Missouri (Mr. Graves) and urge all Members to support the passage 
of H.R. 3855, and I yield back the balance of my time.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The question is on the motion offered by the 
gentlewoman from Michigan (Mrs. Miller) that the House suspend the 
rules and pass the bill, H.R. 3855.
  The question was taken.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. In the opinion of the Chair, two-thirds of 
those present have voted in the affirmative.
  Mrs. MILLER of Michigan. Mr. Speaker, on that I demand the yeas and 
  The yeas and nays were ordered.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to clause 8 of rule XX and the 
Chair's prior announcement, further proceedings on this motion will be