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Statement on the Death of Ezra Taft Benson

May 31, 1994

It was with sadness that I learned today of the passing of Ezra Taft Benson, who served our country and his church with ceaseless dedication over a long life productively lived.

It is no accident that one of Mr. Benson's most famous books emphasized in its words and thoughts the three values his life best represented—church, God, and country. He was a leader of his church for five decades, he preached with passion for unity, solidarity, and responsibility within the family, and he served ably in the Eisenhower administration as Agriculture Secretary.

As we celebrate D-Day and the liberation of Europe, it is important to remember that Mr. Benson was the first representative of his church to reenter post-war Europe, where he distributed aid and lifted the spirits of thousands of survivors.

His friends and fellow believers remind us tonight that Ezra Taft Benson was a lifelong scouter, a strong defender of the Constitution, the creator of the soil bank, a religious man who expanded the membership of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and someone who believed and preached the idea that families come first.

We rejoice in his service, we remember his life, and we extend our heartfelt sympathies to his family, his church, and his admirers worldwide.

William J. Clinton, Statement on the Death of Ezra Taft Benson Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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