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Recognizing John Henry Turpin

Floor Speech

Date: Sept. 14, 2020
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. KILMER. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in recognition of John Henry Turpin, a distinguished U.S. Navy sailor and a lifelong resident of Bremerton, Washington.

John's 30-year career in the Navy included service during the Spanish-American War, the Boxer Rebellion, and World War I. He is believed to be the first Black American to qualify as a master diver and was one of the first Black Americans to achieve the rank of Chief Petty Officer in the U.S. Navy. John's outstanding legacy of service to our country is made even more significant by the era of prejudice and discrimination during which he served.

I am proud that today the House of Representatives unanimously passed the bipartisan bill that I introduced to designate the U.S. Postal Service facility on Pacific Avenue in Bremerton as the John Henry Turpin Post Office Building in recognition of his achievements and his service.

It is fitting that today Democrats and Republicans stood together in honoring his lifelong and selfless commitment to the defense of America and American values, and in ensuring that his accomplishments are permanently remembered in the city of Bremerton.

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