In Washington, it tends to get noisy. It’s easy to get caught up in the heated debates, political posturing, and poll-tested rhetoric flying back and forth aimed at one interest group or another. It’s chaotic. Too often we spend time and energy yelling at each other instead of rolling up our sleeves to get important work done – one reason I’m convinced the American people are so frustrated with Washington. It takes something truly special to cut through the noise and bring everyone together.
We all know of Louisiana’s losses in a tragic helicopter crash off the Florida coast involving eleven American soldiers, including four members of the Louisiana National Guard based in Hammond, while conducting a training mission late at night outside of Pensacola, Florida. As Louisianans, though we grieve the loss of these men, we are very proud of their service. They put themselves in harm’s way to serve something bigger than themselves. We can’t let that sacrifice be in vain or forgotten. We owe it to them to remember.
That’s why I stood up before the entire House of Representatives to lead my colleagues in a moment of silence in remembrance of these fallen heroes. For sixteen whole seconds, in a Chamber where we’ve screamed over the rising costs of healthcare, argued about the negative effects of amnesty, and fought tooth and nail over the size of the national debt, the world stood still. Instead of the usual backslapping, handshaking, laughs, and pointed conversations, it was silent. Every Member bowed their head to remember the sacrifices of these men who made it possible for us to stand in that very Chamber and participate in a free and honest debate.
I’m humbled by the dedication and resolve shown by our armed forces, especially the four brave Louisianans who died off the Florida coast that night. I mourn their loss for their families and friends, but I intend to make sure their sacrifice is not forgotten. For sixteen seconds, these men brought the entire House of Representatives together to stand united in gratitude for their service. I am so grateful to them for that. That’s why I want to make my service in Congress worthy of their legacy. That’s what I’ll continue to work toward as your voice in Washington.