« הקודםהמשך »
Proceedings in the Senate
MONDAY, July 14, 1986.
The Chaplain, the Reverend Richard C. Halverson, D.D., offered the following prayer:
Let us pray. Just at this moment, David Joy, of the Photography Department, is undergoing complicated surgery. Father in Heaven, we commend him now to Your loving care.
God of all comfort, Father of us all, the Senate convenes today, painfully aware of the absence of one of its respected Members. We thank you for Senator JOHN EAST—for his dedicated service to God and country. We thank You for his brilliant mind—his profound understanding of constitutional government-his sense of history. We thank You for his unfailing ability to see issues in their larger context, in the perspective of permanent values, in the light of tested tradition, and in the long view ahead. We thank You for his courage and perseverance under great personal difficulty—his gentleness—his response to duty and his commitment to the trust which sent him to the Senate. We join in loving concern and prayer for Mrs. East, the family, the faithful staff who served him so well, and hosts of admiring, sorrowing friends. Gracious, compassionate Father, give to them the peace which only You can give at this time of pain and loss.
And, Father in Heaven, as Senator James Broyhill is sworn in, we pray for him a special measure of Your wisdom and Your guidance and Your blessing upon him as well as his family and his staff.
In the name of Him who Senator East trusted for life eternal. Amen.
Mr. HELMS. Mr. President, it is my sad duty to report formally to the Senate that our distinguished colleague from North Carolina (Mr. East) died on June 29 at his home in Greenville, NC.
However, Mr. President, it is far more than a formality for me to try to convey the sadness that I feel. You see, John EAST was far more than a colleague. He was a friend to every Member of the Senate, a great American who was admired across the Nation as a man of enormous courage, extraordinary dedication, and keen intellect.
At a time like this, one remembers personal vignettes. How many times have we seen Senator East roll his wheelchair into the Senate Chamber, at all hours of the day and night, to cast his votes? And he came always with a smile on his face—when, frankly, other Senators were grousing about all-night sessions.
Mr. President, the distinguished majority leader (Mr. Dole) put it well a couple of weeks before Senator East's death. Senator Dole, speaking to an audience in Charlotte, paid tribute to Senator East, describing Senator East as “One of the most remarkable men I've ever known. I wonder,” Senator Dole said, “how many of us ever stop to think what a struggle it is for Senator East just to be there. The rest of us walk into the Senate Chamber. John East has to come in a wheelchair."
So in a very real way, Mr. President, Senator JOHN P. EAST was a profile in courage. The thought occurred to me, incidentally, that the words of praise from Senator Dole had a special meaning, because Bob Dole is himself another profile in courage. Badly injured in battle while serving his country overseas, Senator Dole has never once complained about the infirmity that would have devastated other men.
And so it was with Senator East. He never complained. And although, as Senator Dole said, it was a struggle for Senator East to comply with the rigorous schedule of a U.S. Senator, you could always count on John East to be there when needed, and on time.
Mr. President, I shall not consume the Senate's time with a lengthy review of John East, the man, the Senator. But there are little things which will linger forever in my mind. For example, on the last night before the Senate recessed for the Independence Day holiday, JOHN East entered this Chamber from that door. He cast his final vote from his customary position just to the right of the Presiding Officer.
A new group of Senate pages had arrived just a few days earlier. John pointed to those fine young people, and said to me: “Jesse, have you noticed? Every time a new group of young people shows up, I decide that they couldn't be any better. But somehow they are.” Then we discussed how encouraging it is to observe the character and wholesomeness of the majority of today's young people.
That is the point, Mr. President, John East helped build the character of thousands of young people. As a teacher, he was superb. He caused students to think about America, and the greatness of this blessed land. He spoke of principles that deserve to survive. He made sure that the young people enrolled in his classes realized the uniqueness of America, and that that uniqueness is no happenstance. He caused young people to understand that freedom is both precious and fragile—and that it can be lost through apathy and indifference.
In short, this scholar-teacher-statesman loved America, and he conveyed that love to all who knew him.
And as I conclude, Mr. President, I would express my appreciation, and that of Senator East's family, for the countless expressions of love and sympathy that poured into North Carolina during the past 2 weeks. And in particular, I am gratefulas are Mrs. East and her daughters—for the fact that so many of our colleagues and their wives went to Greenville for the memorial services on July 1.
At those services, conducted by Senator East's pastor, Reverend J. Malloy Owen, the essence of John's life was described in a most notable way.
Mr. President, I obtained a transcript of the remarks by the Reverend Mr. Owen, and I ask unanimous consent that they be printed in the Record at this point.
MEMORIAL SERVICE FOR SENATOR JOHN P. EAST-REVEREND J. MALLOY
OWEN III, MINISTER
I am the resurrection, the truth, and the life. He who believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live. The eternal God is your dwelling place, and underneath are the everlasting arms. The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? Blessed be the Lord! for He has heard the voice of my supplications. The Lord is my strength and my shield; in Him my heart trusts. For we know that if this earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the Heavens.
Let us pray: O God, may we accept today your grace and peace through our Lord, Jesus Christ. May we remember with joy and gratitude a man of conviction, strength, and courage whom we sent from this campus to help lead our nation and our world. We praise you today for such a man, through Jesus Christ, Our Lord. Amen.
Now hear the word of God as we find it in the 121st Psalm: “I lift up mine eyes to the hills. From whence does my help come? My help comes from the Lord who made Heaven and earth. He will not let your foot be moved. He who keeps you will not slumber. Behold, He who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. The Lord is your keeper. The Lord is your shade on your right hand. The sun shall not smite you by day nor the moon by night. The Lord will keep you from all evil. The Lord will keep your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forevermore."
Among the most obvious facts in the life of John East was his commitment to the Christian faith and to our heritage as Americans. Central to that faith, important to that heritage, is the Affirmation of Faith which comes to us from