AUTHORIZING USE OF EMANCIPATION HALL FOR CONGRESSIONAL GOLD MEDAL CEREMONY FOR NATIVE AMERICAN CODE TALKERS
(House of Representatives - November 18, 2013)

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[Pages H7164-H7165]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




   AUTHORIZING USE OF EMANCIPATION HALL FOR CONGRESSIONAL GOLD MEDAL 
               CEREMONY FOR NATIVE AMERICAN CODE TALKERS

  Mrs. MILLER of Michigan. Mr. Speaker, I move to suspend the rules and 
concur in the concurrent resolution (S. Con. Res. 25) authorizing the 
use of Emancipation Hall in the Capitol Visitor Center for activities 
associated with the ceremony to award the Congressional Gold Medal to 
Native American code talkers.
  The Clerk read the title of the concurrent resolution.
  The text of the concurrent resolution is as follows:

                            S. Con. Res. 25

       Resolved by the Senate (the House of Representatives 
     concurring),

     SECTION 1. USE OF EMANCIPATION HALL FOR GOLD MEDAL CEREMONY 
                   FOR NATIVE AMERICAN CODE TALKERS.

       Emancipation Hall in the Capitol Visitor Center is 
     authorized to be used on November 20, 2013, for a ceremony to 
     award the Congressional Gold Medal to Native American code 
     talkers. Physical preparations for the conduct of the 
     ceremony shall be carried out in accordance with such 
     conditions as may be prescribed by the Architect of the 
     Capitol.

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


                             General Leave

  Mrs. MILLER of Michigan. Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that 
all Members may have 5 legislative days to revise and extend their 
remarks on the concurrent resolution.
  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 such time as I 
may consume.
  I rise in very strong support of Senate Concurrent Resolution 25, 
authorizing the use of Emancipation Hall on Wednesday, November 20, for 
a ceremony to award the Congressional Gold Medal to Native American 
code talkers who assisted the United States military and our ally 
powers. This ceremony, Mr. Speaker, is a very long overdue recognition 
of all Native American code talkers that served this Nation during 
times of foreign conflict.
  Although the contributions of the Navajo code talkers during the 
World Wars have been the most celebrated, many, many other Native 
American tribes deserve recognition for their courage and dedication to 
this Nation as well. Thousands of Native Americans from over a dozen 
tribes across the country saw the threats to humanity being posed and 
joined with our military forces to protect our common homeland. It was 
a call to action that they selflessly and successfully accomplished.
  I want to thank our former colleague from Oklahoma, Mr. Boren, for 
his leadership on H.R. 4544, the Native American Code Talkers Act, 
which provides for this overdue recognition and celebration.
  Mr. Speaker, I urge all my colleagues to support this resolution, and 
I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mrs. DAVIS of California. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I 
may consume.

[[Page H7165]]

  Mr. Speaker, I join the chair in supporting S. Con. Res. 25, which 
authorizes the use of Emancipation Hall for a ceremony to award the 
Congressional Gold Medal to Native American code talkers. I am very 
pleased to support the efforts to honor these patriotic Americans and 
their service to our Nation during some of its most trying times. This 
honor is extremely well deserved, and I urge my colleagues to support 
this resolution.
  I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mrs. MILLER of Michigan. Mr. Speaker, it is my great honor to yield 
such time as he may consume to the gentleman from Oklahoma (Mr. Cole), 
a member of the Rules Committee and also recently named last week as 
the chairman of the Subcommittee on Legislative Branch Appropriations. 
Also, Mr. Cole is a member of the Chickasaw Nation and the Chickasaw 
Hall of Fame.
  Mr. COLE. I thank my friend, the chairman, for yielding me the time 
and for her gracious remarks.
  Mr. Speaker, Native Americans have fought against, with, and for the 
United States more than any other group of people in the history of our 
country, and it is still true today. Native Americans enlist in the 
American military at a higher rate than any other race or ethnicity in 
the United States. That sense of protecting one's place and one's land, 
which is such an integral part of Native American history, is deep and 
alive and has benefited this country.
  As my friend the chairman mentioned, most Americans are certainly 
aware of the distinguished role of the Navajo code talkers in the 
Second World War. What many of them are not aware of, though, is how 
many others served not only in that war, but as far back as the First 
World War.
  This ceremony will recognize 33 tribes whose members are considered 
DOD code talkers. Ten of those tribes are from my home State of 
Oklahoma, and three of them--the Choctaws, Comanches, and Kiowas--
reside in my district. It is a privilege for me, as a Native American, 
to support this resolution and urge its adoption.
  It is right that we recognize the contribution of these Americans--
the first Americans--who were so often discriminated against at the 
time in which they contributed to the defense of our country and, in 
some cases in the First World War, still did not have the rights of 
other American citizens. Most Native Americans did not actually achieve 
the right to vote until 1924. So the fact that they were willing to go 
and lay their life on the line to assist this country, I think, speaks 
volumes about their patriotism and their commitment.
  So I thank my friends for bringing the resolution to the floor. I 
look forward to voting in support of it, and I urge its adoption by the 
House.
  Mrs. DAVIS of California. Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my 
time.
  Mrs. MILLER of Michigan. Mr. Speaker, it is my great privilege to 
yield such time as he may consume to the gentleman from Oklahoma (Mr. 
Mullin), a member of the Transportation and Infrastructure and Natural 
Resources Committees. He is also a citizen of the Cherokee Nation.
  Mr. MULLIN. Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the gentlelady from 
Michigan for yielding me time to speak on such an important issue.
  The Cherokee Nation has a rich history of pride and heritage inside 
this country. At a very young age, I had the special privilege of 
meeting a gentleman, another former member of the Cherokee Nation, 
Wayne Russell.
  Wayne Russell was taken care of by my grandparents. My grandad, 
Kenneth Morris, is also a Cherokee member, who fought in the European 
theatre as a combat engineer. Wayne Russell was a neighbor of my 
granddad.
  My grandmother and granddad took care of Wayne until he passed away. 
At a young age, I got the privilege of getting to know him. We share 
the same birthday, and so it was a common bond for us. Wayne used to 
tell me stories of how he got to use his native language to help this 
great Nation win a war against a group of individuals that had very bad 
intentions not just in our country, but in this world.
  Wayne never asked for anything. Wayne simply stood up each day and 
did his job when he was in uniform. When he came home, he didn't ask 
for anybody to give him anything. He didn't ask for a handout. He was 
just proud to serve.

  Before I even knew what code talkers were, Wayne used to tell me 
about it all the time, because he used to teach the Cherokee language 
in the school I went to in Westfield. So Wayne would talk to me in our 
native tongue and tell me about the stories that he had from the war.
  He didn't realize he was special. I didn't really realize he was 
special. But today, I get to stand up and talk about him. What an honor 
it is for me to stand on this House floor as a Member of the United 
States Congress and get to bring Wayne Russell's name up and tell 
people what he did.
  Wayne has passed. When he left, he left me all his medals. And we get 
to stand up this week and vote on something to honor not just Cherokee 
members, but the members of Native Americans in Indian Country all 
across this great Nation that didn't ask for anything, but just simply 
did their job. They didn't realize they were special; they just did 
what it took to win. Because we have pride in Indian Country. We take 
great pride in this great country we call America. And for us to stand 
up and speak up for them, what an opportunity for this House to reach 
across the aisle and show bipartisan support to honor a group of 
people.
  So it is an honor to stand up here, Mr. Speaker, and it is an honor 
that the gentlelady from Michigan has given me time to talk about Wayne 
Russell and something important to me.
  I urge my colleagues to support this. Let's stand together and say 
``thank you'' to a group of people that is well overdue.
  Mrs. DAVIS of California. Mr. Speaker, I must say, I hope that all of 
us are looking forward to this ceremony because I think it is going to 
be a very impressive one and give us a chance to honor, again, these 
wonderful, patriotic Americans.
  I urge an ``aye'' vote, and I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mrs. MILLER of Michigan. Mr. Speaker, I don't know how I follow on 
from the two previous speakers we had on our side that talked very 
eloquently from their heart about their pride in their heritage and 
their pride as being Americans and now as Members of the Congress about 
this bipartisan bill, and it is a ceremony that I tell my colleague 
from California we are all looking forward to.
  As I mentioned in my opening remarks, it is certainly a ceremony that 
is long overdue for the recognition of all Native Americans, and 
particularly these code talkers and what they did to keep America free. 
They are great ambassadors of liberty, freedom, and democracy.
  I urge all my colleagues to support Senate Concurrent Resolution 25, 
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 concur in the concurrent resolution, S. Con. Res. 25.
  The question was taken; and (two-thirds being in the affirmative) the 
rules were suspended and the concurrent resolution was concurred in.
  A motion to reconsider was laid on the table.

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