January 25, 2005 - Issue: Vol. 151, No. 5 — Daily Edition109th Congress (2005 - 2006) - 1st Session
REMEMBERING THE DEATH OF SIR WINSTON CHURCHILL; Congressional Record Vol. 151, No. 5
(Extensions of Remarks - January 25, 2005)
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[Extensions of Remarks] [Pages E62-E63] From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov] REMEMBERING THE DEATH OF SIR WINSTON CHURCHILL ______ HON. MAC THORNBERRY of texas in the house of representatives Tuesday, January 25, 2005 Mr. THORNBERRY. Mr. Speaker, I am honored to submit for the Record a statement by the Churchill Centre commemorating the 40th anniversary of the death of Sir Winston Churchill. The Churchill Centre has members around the globe and a mission to ``foster [[Page E63]] leadership, statesmanship, vision and courage among democratic and freedom-loving peoples worldwide, through the thoughts, words, works and deeds of Winston Spencer Churchill.'' One of its recent activities, for example, was to help sponsor the widely acclaimed ``Churchill and the Great Republic'' exhibit that began at the Library of Congress last year and is now moving around the country. I have been a member of the Churchill Centre and its predecessors for nearly 20 years. I believe that each of us today, as well as the generations to come, can learn from and be inspired by the life of Sir Winston Churchill. I commend the statement and the work of this organization to all my colleagues. Remembering a Great Man 40 Years On January 24 marked the 40th anniversary of the passing of the great British statesman and war leader, and honorary U.S. citizen, Sir Winston S. Churchill. Believed by many to be the greatest individual of the past Century, and widely recognized as the single greatest obstacle to Nazi tyranny, Sir Winston died on this date in 1965 at the age of 90. In a career that spanned from the Victorian age to the Space age, Winston Spencer Churchill held almost every major government position in the British government; served in Parliament under every monarch from Queen Victoria to Queen Elizabeth II; won the Nobel Prize for literature in recognition of a body of work that encompassed forty books and innumerable articles and speeches; and, was an accomplished artist, producing over 500 paintings in his lifetime. His official biographer, Sir Martin Gilbert, when asked to produce a one sentence description of Churchill, wrote: ``He was a great humanitarian who was himself distressed that the accidents of history gave him his greatest power at a time when everything had to be focused on defending the country from destruction, rather than achieving his goals of a fairer society.'' As the 20th Century drew to a close, The Churchill Centre, Washington, D.C., a broadly-based international organization of over 3,500 members that exists to foster leadership and boldness through the words, works, and deeds of Sir Winston Churchill, published in its journal, Finest Hour, statements issued by world leaders and the media supporting the designation of Winston Churchill as the ``Person of the Century''. Here are two of those statements: ``Churchill was the century's best example of how individuals can shape history rather than being shaped by it. The force of his will and his words gave courage to his country and saved the West. Yet it was also Churchill who, after World War II, discerned the dangers to come from communist tyranny. Just as he defined the moral issues of the 1930s and 1940s, he defined the great moral challenge up to our own time. Totalitarianism was the greatest evil of the 20th century, and Churchill its most able adversary.''-- Governor George W. Bush in Time, 22 November 1999. ``We can make sense of the future if we understand the lessons of the past. Winston Churchill, my first prime minister, said that `the further backward you look, the further forward you can see.' And it was this importance of history which was much in my mind when I opened the new Scottish Parliament in July this year.''--Her Majesty the Queen, Christmas Message, 25 December 1999. Why should the world remember a man who lived so long ago at a time seemingly so remote from the present? Quite simply, because the words, the deeds, and the works of Winston Churchill take on an aura of immortality that transcend years and generations and can provide guidance to the world today and into the future. Churchill was a defender of the family as it is traditionally understood. He believed that government should foster independence of spirit. He believed this requires that people own property, with little hindrance and light taxation, and remain responsible for their own well-being. Churchill believed Western Civilization is a force for good. He believed that the traditions of the English-Speaking Peoples, rightly understood, reflected truths of unchanging vitality and application to all persons and all times. He thought socialism and bureaucracy incompatible with human liberty and even with the survival of nations. He believed that certain codes of morality find sanction in a permanent law, not made by mankind. A violation of this law is, he believed, always wrong. Virtue, not creativity, was his touchstone. These principles will continue to require champions in this century. Churchill's motto, expressed as the ``moral'' of his acclaimed six-volume history of The Second World War, clearly expresses these ideals. In War: Resolution. In Defeat: Defiance. In Victory: Magnanimity. In Peace: Good Will. Now, forty years after his passing, Winston Churchill is still quoted, read, revered, and referred to as much, if not more, than when he was alive. Let us, therefore, take a moment to reflect on a man who gave so much to the world during his lifetime, and who will be remembered and honored as long as a free world continues to exist and continues to honor its heroes. ____________________