John Glenn on the senate floor
Date: Mon, 26 Jan 2004 11:13
Some people still don't understand why military
personnel do what they do for a living. This exchange between Senators
John Glenn and Senator Howard Metzenbaum is worth reading. Not only is
it a pretty impressive impromptu speech, but it's also a good example of
one man's explanation of why men and women in the armed services do what
they do for a living.
This is a typical, though sad, example of what some
who have never served think of the military.
Senator Metzenbaum to Senator Glenn: "How can you
run for Senate when you've never held a real job?"
Senator Glenn: "I served 23 years in the United
States Marine Corps.
I served through two wars. I flew 149 missions. My
plane was hit by anti-aircraft fire on 12 different occasions. I was in
the space program.
It wasn't my checkbook, Howard; it was my life on the
line. It was not a nine-to-five job, where I took time off to take the
daily cash receipts to the bank. I ask you to go with me ... as I went
the other day... to a veteran's hospital and look those men - with their
mangled bodies - in the eye, and tell them they didn't hold a job! You
go with me to the Space Program at NASA and go, as I have gone, to the
widows and Orphans of Ed White, Gus Grissom and Roger Chaffee... and you
look those kids in the eye and tell them that their DADS didn't hold a
You go with me on Memorial Day and you stand in
Arlington National Cemetery, where I have more friends buried than I'd
like to remember, and you watch those waving flags.
You stand there, and you think about this nation, and
you tell me that those people didn't have a job? I'll tell you, Howard
Metzenbaum; you should be on your knees every day of your life thanking
God that there were some men - some men - who held real jobs. And they
required a dedication to a purpose - and a love of country and a
dedication to duty - that was more important than life itself. And their
self-sacrifice is what made this country possible.
I have held a job, Howard! What about you?"
For those who don't remember - During W.W.II, Howard
Metzenbaum was an attorney representing the Communist Party in the USA.
He was a Senator!
If you can read this, thank a teacher. If you are
reading it in English thank a Veteran.