November 15, 2005 - Issue: Vol. 151, No. 151 — Daily Edition109th Congress (2005 - 2006) - 1st Session
IN MEMORY AND TRIBUTE TO JOSEPH MONSERRAT; Congressional Record Vol. 151, No. 151
(Extensions of Remarks - November 15, 2005)
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[Extensions of Remarks] [Page E2364] From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov] IN MEMORY AND TRIBUTE TO JOSEPH MONSERRAT ______ HON. JOSE E. SERRANO of new york in the house of representatives Tuesday, November 15, 2005 Mr. SERRANO. Mr. Speaker, it is difficult to bid farewell to friends and mentors, especially those who have worked so hard and given so much to their communities and to our Nation. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in memory of and tribute to Joseph Monserrat, who passed away this week. Joe spent his life in public service, both to his community and to his people. He was born in Bayamon, Puerto Rico, and like so many of his generation, moved at a very young age to the United States. He attended public schools and some of New York's most prestigious universities. Joe served honorably in the Army Air Force, and upon returning, began his long career of public service. He quickly rose to positions of leadership in all his undertakings, making a significant mark as Director of the New York office and Deputy National Director of the Migration Division of the Puerto Rican Department of Labor. This agency helped assist and smooth the transition for Puerto Ricans resettling in the United States by working to increase employment and business opportunities, increasing the number of major corporations that had employment programs for Puerto Ricans, and other vital services. After eight years in this capacity, because of his hard work and talent, Joe was promoted to National Director of the Division, where he served for another nine years. Under his leadership, this agency was to become one of the most important national organizations devoted to the cause of helping Puerto Ricans gain a foothold in the United States. He later turned his attention to education, serving on the New York City Board of Education in the early 1970s and later teaching. In his spare time, Joe served on the boards of many prominent civil rights organizations as well as service with many labor-related organizations. He also spent a great deal of time researching and writing some of the most influential scholarly works on issues affecting Hispanics, Puerto Ricans, the Caribbean and Latin America. Mr. Speaker, Joe was a tireless leader, brimming with vision, energy and ideals. He was a mentor, a teacher, a friend, and, most importantly, the source of inspiration to countless leaders. The institutions that he touched were forever marked as they reached new heights of service and dedication to worthy causes. Joe's legacy of service to others and his valuable contributions in all sectors of society will be sorely missed but his legacy lives on. I would like to extend my deepest sympathy to Joe's family, colleagues, friends, and all those whom he touched by his life and example. Mr. Speaker, Joe Monserrat was an uncommon leader on the many different issues that he addressed during his life. He truly showed the way for many Puerto Ricans and Hispanics who followed in his footsteps in New York City and in the nation. Joe could truly be called one of the leading lights of the Hispanic community in the United States, and his commitment to public service should be honored. Fortunately through his leadership, he created a generation of people who will ensure that his vision for the betterment of the Puerto Rican and Hispanic community will not be lost. Mr. Speaker, I am glad to report that even with his passing, his light was not extinguished; instead it will shine stronger than ever among all those he inspired. I ask my colleagues to join me and all who had the privilege of knowing Joe Monserrat in paying tribute to him for serving his community and our nation with uncommon wisdom, generosity and dignity. ____________________