CELEBRATING VAISAKHI; Congressional Record Vol. 165, No. 53
(House of Representatives - March 27, 2019)

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                          CELEBRATING VAISAKHI

  The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. Harder of California). The Chair 
recognizes the gentleman from California (Mr. Costa) for 5 minutes.
  Mr. COSTA. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to join the Sikh community in 
celebrating Vaisakhi.
  On April 14, Sikhs around the world, including thousands and 
thousands in California's San Joaquin Valley, will celebrate the 
Vaisakhi festival. This week, we welcome members of the Congressional 
Sikh Caucus to the Hill to participate in those celebrations.
  The festival marks the new year and the beginning of the spring 
season for the global Sikh community.
  The date of the Vaisakhi festival has tremendous significance in 
Sikhism. The festival commemorates the year 1699, when Sikhism emerged 
as a collective faith in what is now modern-day India.
  It also celebrates both the birthday of the 10th Sikh guru, Guru 
Gobind Singh, and the foundation of the Khalsa Panth, the Sikh 
  Sikhs across the globe celebrate this day with enthusiasm and joy. I 
know they do in the rich San Joaquin Valley that is home to so many who 
are farmers, businesspeople, and community leaders. I have the honor to 
represent them and to celebrate with them.
  This festival models what all cultures strive for: strong communities 
coming together to celebrate progress, renew its dedication to helping 
one another, and peace.
  Mr. Speaker, I ask my colleagues to please join me in celebrating 
this special tradition in the Sikh community.

                           Women Trailblazers

  Mr. COSTA. Mr. Speaker, every March, we come together to honor 
trailblazing women who have come before us, who have made a difference 
throughout the history of our country and throughout the world, and 
those who continue to pave the way for the next generation, those who 
have broken the glass ceiling, and those who are role models.

                              {time}  1030

  The unsung heroines of these courageous pioneering women continue to 
always make a difference.
  The role model for me, and one who I must say made the incredible 
difference, was our mother, Lena Cordoza Costa, a daughter of 
immigrants, born before the Depression, raised during it, having to 
quit school as a freshman in high school to help raise her seven 
siblings because her father had been injured in an agricultural 
  She went on with our father to be--as Tom Brokaw noted--perhaps 
America's greatest generation, striving with the values of hard work, 
of teaching us to treat others as we would want to be treated 
ourselves, and values of common sense.
  As a young boy, learning that, Jim, you know, the truth is the truth, 
and that you should always never forget those who are less fortunate.
  After our father passed away, my mother in her mid-70s quietly 
decided to go back to school and to get her GED. She didn't need to. 
She was a successful business person; she was an artist, a voracious 
reader, and a competitive bridge player.
  And when she got her GED, she told my sister and me. We said, Mom, 
why didn't you tell us?
  She says, Well, I wasn't sure I would do well.
  Our mother did--everything that she did, she did well, and continued 
to serve as a role model.
  Later on, the high school in which she had to quit as a freshman, at 
a 100th anniversary of that high school, asked her to come--with 
myself--and they presented her her high school diploma.
  She was so proud of that high school diploma. And today, it sits on 
my desk. And I show students that you can be whatever you want to be if 
you have the proper role model and encouragement.
  It is women who are guiding our Nation towards a more equal future--
like our mother--who make a difference.
  Today, I am proud to be a Member of the most diverse Congress in the 
United States' history, with over 102 women in this body, women serving 
the people's House.
  We honor their sacrifice, their brilliance, and the strength of their 
service for our Nation.