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Mayor Jon Arthur Simmons

Floor Speech

Date: Nov. 17, 2020
Location: Washington, DC


Mr. SHIMKUS. Madam Speaker, I rise before you today to recognize and honor Mayor Jon Arthur Simmons of Vienna, Illinois--a remarkable man who has humbly dedicated his life to service, both to Southern Illinois and our great nation.

Jon was born in Goreville Township, Illinois on June 15, 1941 to John and Veneta Simmons. He attended Vienna High School, graduating in 1959. Four years later, in 1963, Jon was drafted into the United States Army, serving in Vietnam until being honorably discharged in 1965. In 2019, Jon was honored with the opportunity to travel to Washington, DC as part of the Southern Illinois Honor Flight. Jon recalls the experience and the welcome home celebration as humbling, a drastic contrast to his experience coming home from Vietnam where the soldiers were not welcomed and treated unkindly.

Jon became an auctioneer in 1974 which has sent him all over Southern Illinois. His slogan states, ``Auction means action, and we guarantee satisfaction''. The people with whom he has interacted throughout the years would agree. Furthermore, Jon has demonstrated this motto in his local community, always being a reliable helping hand to whoever is in need. For the last 12 years, Jon has served as the Mayor of Vienna, Illinois and has spent his career working to progress the city he loves.

At the end of 2020, Jon will retire from auctioneering after 46 years and serving as Mayor of Vienna after 12 years. Diabetes, a heart attack, and cancer of the bladder has impacted Jon's health, a consequence of his exposure to agent orange while serving our country.

Madam Speaker, Jon Simmons has proven to be an asset to his family, community, and country. I want to thank Mayor Simmons for his service throughout the years and wish him well in his retirement.