Friends and Family

w6401This morning in Statuary Hall (the old house chamber) of the US Capitol. a new piece will be unveiled. This will be one of the very few pieces of statuary that is not of an American. But in many ways, it is an American. His mother was an American, and in the rarest of honors, on 9 April 1963 by “Act of the Senate and House of Representative of the United States, in Congress assembled” the President was directed to proclaim that he would be henceforth be an honorary citizen of the United States. This was the first time that had ever happened. It has happened only six times since for these people

  • Casimir Pulaski who was mortally wounded in action at the Brandywine
  • The Marquis de Lafayette, who amongst everything else, was the first foreigner to address Congress
  • Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu [Mother Teresa]
  • William and Hannah Callowhill Penn
  • Raoul Wallenberg, the Swedish Secretary to Hungary in World War II who acting under American directives and using American money managed to save nearly 100,000 Hungarian Jews from the Germans, and who was detained by the Soviets in 1945, and never freed.

It may be the most select group in modern history.

This man so honored is, of course, Sir Winston Churchill.

The Speaker will host, Representative Nancy Pelosi and Senator Harry Reid are expected to attend.

We are reminded, and my title comes from, a dinner in Glasgow, Scotland, in January of 1941, where Harry Hopkins, the personal representative of President Roosevelt, having dinner with Churchill, his physician Sir Charles Wilson (later Lord Moran), and the Secretary of State for Scotland, Tom Johnston. Hopkins looked at Churchill and said,

I suppose you wish to know what I am going to say to President Roosevelt on my return. Well I am going to quote you one verse from that Book of Books in the truth of which Mr. Johnston’s mother and my own Scottish mother were brought up: ‘Whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God.’

Then he added very quietly: “Even to the end.”

“I was surprised to find the P.M. in tears,” Lord Moran wrote in his diary. “He knew what it meant.”

And so came about the first inkling of the Grand Alliance that would lead the free world for the rest of the century, once Harry Hopkins was convinced that the Empire was willing to do what had to be done to win through. And that it was able to.

It is being placed by invitation of Speaker Boehner and pursuant to this resolution.

H. Res. 497       Whereas Sir Winston Churchill was Prime Minister of the 
     United Kingdom from 1940 through 1945 and from 1951 through 
       Whereas the United States and the United Kingdom led the 
     Allied Powers during World War Two;
       Whereas President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Sir Winston 
     Churchill formed a bond that united freedom-loving people throughout the world 
     to defeat tyranny in Europe and Asia;
       Whereas, on December 26, 1941, Sir Winston Churchill 
     addressed a Joint Session of Congress;
       Whereas during that speech, Sir Winston Churchill said, 
     ``Sure I am that this day--now we are the masters of our 
     fate; that the task which has been set us is not above our 
     strength; that its pangs and toils are not beyond our 
     endurance. As long as we have faith in our cause and an 
     unconquerable will-power, salvation will not be denied us. In 
     the words of the Psalmist, `He shall not be afraid of evil 
     tidings; his heart is fixed, trusting in the Lord.' Not all 
     the tidings will be evil.'';
       Whereas December 26, 2011, is the 70th anniversary of this 
     speech to a joint session of Congress;
       Whereas Sir Winston Churchill was made an Honorary Citizen 
     of the United States by an act of Congress in 1963;
       Whereas Sir Winston Churchill was awarded the Congressional 
     Gold Medal in 1969;
       Whereas Sir Winston Churchill's persistence, determination 
     and resolve remains an inspiration to freedom-fighters all 
     over the world;
       Whereas the United Kingdom remains and will forever be an 
     important and irreplaceable ally to the United States; and
       Whereas the United States Capitol does not currently 
     appropriately recognize the contributions of Sir Winston 
     Churchill or that of the United Kingdom: Now, therefore, be 
       Resolved, That the Architect of the Capitol place an 
     appropriate statue or bust of Sir Winston Churchill in the 
     United States Capitol at a location directed by the House 
     Fine Arts Board in consultation with the Speaker.

The bust is being provided by The Churchill Centre

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