Ron Paul
1998 Ron Paul Chapter 98

POW/MIA Recognition Week In Matagorda County, Texas

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10 September 1998

Thursday, September 10, 1998

1998 Ron Paul 98:1
Mr. PAUL. Mr. Speaker, on Sunday, September 13 I will have the distinct pleasure of being the keynote speaker at the opening ceremonies for POW/MIA Recognition week in Matagorda County, Texas.

1998 Ron Paul 98:2
This event will be sponsored by Matagorda County Veterans Services as a part of POW/ MIA Recognition Week. Mr. Speaker, as a United States Air Force veteran I am well aware of the sacrifices which brave young men are required to make during times of war. Perhaps no better example of these sacrifices can be found than those endured by Prisoners of War and those Missing In Action. From “Hanoi Hilton” to “Saving Private Ryan” we have seen the dramatic horrors that war brings, but behind the stories, beyond the silver screen, there are real Private Ryan’s who never do make it home. And there are families broken, lives affected and communities touched, by the real sacrifices of the real heroes who fight America’s wars.

1998 Ron Paul 98:3
I believe that no young man or woman has ever entered the military hoping to face combat, but most answer the call because they believe in the liberties which our nation was founded upon, and they see our nation as a beacon of liberty. It is to these young people that I wish to bring honor and it is to those who have become Missing, or are held Prisoner, to whom I believe this nation must pledge ongoing fealty. Specifically, I would like to memorialize U.S. Army Sergeant Joe Parks, from Matagorda County, who died while in captivity in Vietnam.

1998 Ron Paul 98:4
Mr. Speaker, our nation has suffered a great burden as a result of the wars of this century, in some instances it has nearly been torn apart by these wars, but none have suffered more than those who are missing, and their families, many of whom still hope against hope that they will one day return, either to resume lives or to be granted a proper burial. Our nation still has some 93,000 individuals who are unaccounted for, some of whom are believed to be POW’s even now during a time of relative peace. Mr. Speaker, I believe we owe it to these men, and to their families, to get a full accounting for every person which this nation has sent abroad. I believe we owe it to our nation to bring each and every one of them home.

1998 Ron Paul 98:5
With the opening of archives from the former Soviet Union we have seen evidence of how young American servicemen were allowed to become political chess pieces for a totalitarian regime. It is due to the efforts of groups such as Matagorda County Veterans Services that we can honestly say “You Are Not Forgotten” to those who have sacrificed so much. And it is critical that we keep these memories forever etched in our minds so that we might also recall the mantra “never again.” Never again should Americans be forced to face the brutalities of war, such as those faced in Prisoner of War camps, and never again should we allow brave Americans to go missing in action.

1998 Ron Paul 98:1 POW/MIA Recognition week probably should be capitalized: POW/MIA Recognition Week as in the next verse.

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