Tags: US | Byrd | Remembrances

Testimonials to Sen. Robert C. Byrd

Monday, 28 Jun 2010 09:00 AM

 

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Testimonials to Sen. Robert C. Byrd, the longest serving member of the Senate, who has died at the age of 92:

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"Senator Byrd came from humble beginnings in the southern coalfields, was raised by hardworking West Virginians, and triumphantly rose to the heights of power in America. But he never forgot where he came from nor who he represented, and he never abused that power for his own gain." — Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va.

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"Sen. Robert Byrd and his wife Erma were our personal friends, and he was my closest and most valuable adviser while I served as president. I respected him and attempted in every way to remain in his good graces. He was a giant among legislators, and was courageous in espousing controversial issues. ... " — Former President Jimmy Carter.

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"Sen. Byrd combined a devotion to the U.S. Constitution with a deep learning of history to defend the interests of his state and the traditions of the Senate. We will remember him for his fighters spirit, his abiding faith, and for the many times he recalled the Senate to its purposes. Generations of Americans will read the masterful history of the Senate he leaves behind, and they will also read about the remarkable life of Robert Carlyle Byrd." Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.

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"We knew that his time was drawing nigh. Senator Byrd was the keeper of the flame here in the Senate. He believed in the Senate as an institution. He believed in the constitutional role of the Senate not to be a rubber stamp for the president and he believed fiercely in his state and his constituents there." — Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas.

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"I served with him for 36 years. We sat in the same row. He was a senator's senator. He was a keeper of our traditions, a keeper of the rules, and the kind of senator who always kept his word. ... I will miss Bob Byrd." — Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt.

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"He was a great patriot. He loved the Senate, no doubt about it. I remembered how he railed against textbooks one time. He said they contained 'touch, feely twallow.' " — Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala.

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"For 50 years, his voice has protected the rules and traditions of the Senate and garnered great respect for the body as an institution. His forcing the Senate to strictly adhere to its rules and procedures has protected the voice of the minority and enforced respect and collegiality among its members." — Sen. George LeMieux, R-Fla.

"Over the next several days, the pundits will try to sum up in limited words the life of Senator Byrd. They will fall far short. We will hear about structures that bear his name, about records he set, about votes he cast. And none of those measures will come close to capturing the enormity that was Robert C. Byrd. I do not know how to begin trying to calculate his immense influence on the People of this Nation and the People of West Virginia; perhaps because so much of what he gave to us is beyond measure — wisdom, reason, hope. We will not see the likes of a Robert C. Byrd pass our way again."

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"He was a defender of the Constitution, a champion of the Senate. He was West Virginia'a greatest ally, her faithful son, a source of tremendous pride, and our Big Daddy. He was a mentor, a teacher, a leader, a constant source of inspiration." — Rep. Nick Rahall, D-W.Va.

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"Sen. Byrd was a fearless fighter for the Constitution, his beloved state and its great people. He made a significant mark as a member of Congress in both our state's and the nation's history. His accomplishments and contributions will define history for eternity." — Gov. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va.

© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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