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Kinzinger Honors Life of John Anderson with Floor Speech

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Washington, December 22, 2017 | Maura Gillespie ((202) 225-3635) | comments
This week, Congressman Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) spoke on the House floor about the life and legacy of The Honorable John B. Anderson.
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Washington, DC – This week, Congressman Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) spoke on the House floor about the life and legacy of The Honorable John B. Anderson. The late John Anderson passed earlier this month at the age of 95. His wife Keke and their daughters came to the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday to sit in the House Gallery and watch the Congressman deliver his floor speech.

Remarks as prepared for delivery:

“Mr. Speaker, I rise today to honor the life and legacy of The Honorable John B. Anderson, and pay tribute to a man who inspired me to serve.

“On December 3, 2017, John Anderson passed away at the age of 95. In mourning his death, I send my condolences and prayers to John’s wife Keke, and the entire Anderson family. A native of Rockford, Illinois, John Anderson attended Rockford Central High School and graduated from the University of Illinois in 1939.

“Before representing Illinois’ 16th Congressional District in the House of Representatives, the district I now proudly represent, John Anderson answered the call to serve as a Staff Sergeant in the United States Army. He left law school in 1943 to enlist, and bravely served his country through the end of World War II. A decorated war veteran, John Anderson was honored with four battle stars for his valor in combat.

“Upon returning home to Rockford, John finished his law degree at the University of Illinois and then went off to Harvard Law School to earn his Master of Laws degree. A few years later, he joined the Foreign Service and worked in Germany for the United States High Commissioner. After returning home to Rockford, he was elected as Winnebago County State’s Attorney in 1956. Shortly after, he joined the primary race for Congress and went on to win the House seat in 1960.

“For ten terms, John Anderson represented the 16t Congressional District of Illinois. He was on the powerful Rules Committee and held firm to his fiscally conservative values.  He believed in a smaller, more accountable government – and he wasn’t afraid to speak up for it. His servant leadership and love of country earned him the Chairmanship of the House Republican Conference, ranking third in House Leadership. And this esteem eventually led him to run for President.

“John Anderson believed that his job was worth giving up in order to set a better example of realism in politics. As a community and as a country, we are better for his candor, his focus, and his honesty. To this day, John’s pragmatic approach and self-awareness continue to inspire me and greatly impact my service here in Congress.

“Mr. Speaker, John Anderson dedicated his life to serving our Rockford community and this great nation, and he served us proudly. After his political career, he continued to serve by becoming a visiting professor at several universities across the country. On behalf of the 16t Congressional District of Illinois, we salute the service of our fallen leader, friend, neighbor, and dedicated civil servant. It is my hope that his legacy will continue to inspire generations to come, and that his impact will never be forgotten.”

NOTE: The full floor speech can be viewed here.

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