As United States Senator Strom Thurmond turns 100, I am proud to join the people of South Carolina in praising him, his values, and his good works.
Celebrating his 100th birthday as a sitting U.S. Senator is unique in our history, as was his 1954 election to the Senate as a write-in candidate. He has served his fellow citizens as teacher, coach, State legislator, and Governor. Additionally, while serving as a circuit court judge, he volunteered for combat duty during World War II and later landed a glider at Normandy on D-Day at the age of 41. For his military service, he earned 18 decorations, medals, and awards, including the Legion of Merit with Oak Leaf Cluster, Bronze Star for Valor, Purple Heart, Belgian Order of the Crown, and French Croix de Guerre.
I had the privilege of campaigning across South Carolina with Senator Thurmond in 1988. I will never forget his beautiful speeches, his love for the people, and their love for him.
My family and I are among the myriad who have great respect and admiration for the Senator. His patriotism, courage, and lifetime dedication to South Carolina and his Nation will always be remembered. I am looking forward to having Senator Thurmond at the White House Friday to celebrate his centennial year.
God bless you, Strom. The Nation and I are grateful for your life of service.