Remarks By Representative Steve Israel (D-NY) at the Democratic National Convention

Date: July 29, 2004
Location: Boston, MA

Federal News Service July 29, 2004 Thursday



REP. ISRAEL: Thank you very much. Today I am proud to be standing here representing Long Island's veterans and military families and all those who care about our country.

Today our nation faces challenges at home and abroad, and once again we turn to a leader from Massachusetts. Whether it was the Minutemen of the American Revolution, or Colonel Robert Gould Shaw and his Civil War regiment of free blacks, or the young naval lieutenant, John F. Kennedy, in War World II, it was leaders from this state who gave us hope and inspiration. They not only led by courageous example, they understood the importance of personal responsibility and the duty of all to do our part.

Today such a leader is John Kerry. (Cheers, applause.) When his country was in need, John Kerry volunteered for combat in Vietnam. Lieutenant John Kerry risked his life under enemy fire to keep the men under his command safe. Courage and commitment are words that still describe John Kerry today and describe the president he will be.

He understands that we cannot send our troops into battle one day, and the next day cut their hazardous duty pay. He understands that you cannot ask men and women to fight our nation's enemy and then be forced to fight for decent veterans' benefits. He understands that you cannot ask them to face dangers abroad while they worry about their families' financial security at home.

And Senator John Kerry has pledged: If I am president, I will fight for a constant standard of decency and respect for those who serve their country in our armed forces, on active duty, and as veterans. It should be no other way. And if I am president, it will be no other way. (Cheers, applause.)

As a prosecutor who sent criminals to jail and as a senator who fought for America's family whatever the risk to himself, John Kerry stood up and took personal responsibility for meeting our nation's challenges. He is standing up again in this election for our future, a future when America can be admired and respected again, when we can honor those brave men and women who have paid dearly to serve our nation, when we become once again a nation fit for heroes.

God bless our troops, our veterans. God bless America. And God bless our next president, John Kerry!

Thank you very much. (Cheers, applause.)