Washington, D.C. - Speaker Nancy Pelosi spoke on the House floor today in support of H. Res. 895, honoring the lives of the brave soldiers and civilians who died or were wounded in the tragic attack yesterday at the Fort Hood Army base in Texas. The House will vote on the legislation later today. Below are the Speaker's remarks.
“Thank you very much Mr. Speaker. I thank the gentleman for his kind remarks. I accept them on behalf of the entire House because we have worked in a bipartisan way on behalf of our men and women in uniform and our veterans.
“And I particularly want to salute Chairman Edwards' outstanding leadership in that regard in his position as chair of the Military Construction Quality of Life Subcommittee of Appropriations.
“Mr. Speaker, words fail when a tragedy of this magnitude comes in such an unexpected way. That someone who had the confidence of the military, within its own walls would perpetrate such a tragedy on people whose lives are dedicated to protecting the American people. It was an unspeakable tragedy, of course, for the families, soldiers, civilians, and support staff on the base at Fort Hood. But it was also a wound to our entire country.
“Our brave men and women in uniform train day in and day out to preserve our security. They should never have to face or fear the forces of violence here at home.
“At Fort Hood yesterday, ordinary citizens performed extraordinary acts and they were called upon to be heroes.
“In the face of great cowardice on behalf of the perpetrators, Americans demonstrated great bravery: from stopping the gunman from causing more loss of life, to coming to the aid of those who were wounded, and protecting the lives of others.
“The entire nation and this Congress stand with the members of our military every day. I hope it is a comfort to the families affected by this, everyone in America has been affected by it, but those who have lost their loved ones, families of those who were seriously wounded, and those who have been shaken at Fort Hood, that our entire country mourns the losses of those who were killed and are praying for them at this very, very sad time.
“I said to Congressman Carter, who represents Fort Hood, and Mr. Edwards who had represented Fort Hood and many of his constituents work at Fort Hood, that whatever this Congress can do to ease the pain, to help the recovery, we stand ready to do it. And we do that on both sides of the aisle.
“Thank you, Mr. Edwards. Thank you for the opportunity to extend my condolence and that of the Congress to the families affected.”