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I compliment my colleague from West Virginia for a beautiful tribute to a wonderful colleague and Senator.

Mr. BYRD. Mr. President, I thank my friend.

Mr. COCHRAN. Mr. President, I first want to commend the distinguished Democratic leader for his comments about our departed colleague and my good friend, Senator JOHN C. STENNIS. Today, there was a very appropriate editorial published in the Clarion-Ledger, in Jackson, Mississippi, describing the effect that Senator STENNIS had, by virtue of his service in the Senate, on the State of Mississippi.

I commend the editor for such a fine article and I ask unanimous consent that it be printed in the Record.

There being no objection, the article was ordered to be printed in the Record, as follows:

[From the Clarion-Ledger, April 25, 1995)


The accomplishments of former U.S. Senator John C. Stennis could fill pages.

STENNIS' long and full life ended Sunday at age 93, and during the next few days, Mississippians will hear many of the Senator's accomplishments recounted.

His long and distinguished career in government left his mark on many of the policies of the United States, especially in military matters. There are many institutions that bear his name, even an aircraft carrier.

Mississippi is a much different place, and a much better place, because of the policies and economic development projects he brought to the state.

But, all of the political achievements, the things that most politicians are measured by, fall short when it comes to Senator Stennis.

STENNIS was, above all else, a man of integrity, a true statesman, whose adherence to honor and code of conduct made him legendary in the U.S. Senate, which he loved so dearly.

That is indeed a rare quality, especially in the mean-spirited politics of today.

Senator STENNIS' reputation for fairness made him a trusted colleague and confidant of Presidents of both parties. He was known as the “conscience of the Senate” because of his high ethical standards and respect for the institution.

Throughout his long career, integrity and service were watchwords. It is appropriate that, of the institutions that bear his name, the Stennis Center for Public Service at Mississippi State University seeks to encourage young people to public service careers.

In his 1947 campaign, STENNIS stated a simple creed: “I want to plow a straight furrow right down to the end of my row.”

Senator JOHN C. STENNIS succeeded with that pledge.

Mr. President, I want to invite the attention of the Senate to a couple of points that are made in this fine tribute. After talking about many of the things that Senator STENNIS did for the State the editorial writer then says:

But, all of the political achievements, the things that most politicians are measured by, fall short when it comes to Senator STENNIS.

STENNIS was, above all else, a man of integrity, a true statesman, whose adherence to honor and code of conduct made him legendary in the U.S. Senate, which he loved so dearly.

Mr. President, as I was beginning to think about putting this in the Record for the information of Senators, I realized that I sit at the desk that was occupied by Senator STENNIS during the time he served in the Senate.

As you know, there is a tradition here to put your name in the desk drawer like schoolboys used to. Senator STENNIS' name is in this desk drawer which he wrote in there and put the date that he began service, 1947, and a dash, and never did, of course, put the date on which his service ended, which the distinguished Democratic leader pointed out was in 1989.

One other aspect of this desk is that not only has it been occupied by many Mississippians over the years, Jefferson Davis, to name one, John Sharp Williams, a very distinguished Senator who had served as Democratic leader in the House before he was elected to the Senate, and then served three terms in the Senate and probably was one of the most respected national figures of his day serving in the Congress. And serving from Mississippi it made our State very proud. But Senator STENNIS occupied this desk from 1947—well over 41 years, as the Senators know.

But toward the end of his career he lost a leg to cancer, and this desk was located in the rear of the Chamber. So his wheelchair could move right up to the desk. But he never failed to rise and address the Senate even though he was confined to the wheelchair and had only one leg. He had the carpenters put a special place here where a bar could be fitted. There are two holes carved for wooden inserts in this desk to hold that bar. And the bar would rest inside the desk. Most Senators put the rule books of the Senate and a couple of other reference books in the top of their desk. But that had simply a bar there. He would put it there and pull himself up, and with that one leg stand erect to address the Senate because he respected the institution so much, its traditions, and its customs, always pointing out to other Senators that we should be in order; and having a tremendous influence because of his presence in this body.

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The Senate is much better off because of his service here. The State of Mississippi is truly blessed to have been the State represented in the U.S. Senate by JOHN C. STENNIS.

Mr. NUNN. Mr. President, I would like to speak for a few minutes this evening on a subject close to my heart, and that is the memory of our former colleague, JOHN C. STENNIS, who passed away on Sunday, April 23, at the age of 93. Senator STENNIS served in this body for over 41 years, from 1947 to 1989.

For a long number of years, as I was growing up and following the activities of the Congress of the United States, Senator STENNIS was one of my heroes, and that was long before I came to U.S. Senate. JOHN STENNIS personified for me the image of what a Senator should be, and that image inspired me as I considered whether to seek a seat in the U.S. Senate in the 1972 election. From my first days in the Senate, JOHN STENNIS was a patient mentor, a strong and valuable colleague, and a cherished friend.

It has been said that “Great men are like eagles, they do not flock together. You find them one at a time, soaring alone, using their skills and strengths to reach new heights and to seek new horizons.” Such an eagle was JOHN STENNIS.

JOHN STENNIS was a Senator's Senator. He was gentle and courteous in conduct, but tough and strong in conviction and in character. He was a man of singular purpose and broad vision-yet he was sensitive, very sensitive, to the needs and the wishes of others.

JOHN STENNIS personified the highest ideals of honor and integrity within the U.S. Senate. Members of the Senate from both parties and from widely divergent philosophical points of view treasured his steadfast leadership, his fearless courage, his kindness toward others, his unselfish devotion to public service, his love and respect for the U.S. Senate, the Congress, his reverence for the U.S. Constitution, and his unshakable faith in God.

Senator STENNIS was an outstanding lawyer and judge before he came to the Senate, and his judicial temperament marked every aspect of his Senate service. Time after time, the Senate turned to him to address the most difficult and divisive issues, such as the conduct of Senator Joseph McCarthy.

When the Senate established the first Select Committee on Standards and Conduct, which was the predecessor of the Ethics Committee, it was only natural that Senator STENNIS was selected as the first chairman. From 1961 to 1981, he served as chairman of the Armed Services Committee. As chairman, he set a standard that all of his successors strive to meet. He was a man of conviction, strong, moral character, and absolute and total courage. Despite much adversity—a life-threatening gunshot wound in 1973, right after I came to the Senate that tragedy happened, also the loss in 1983 of his beloved wife, Miss Coy, and the challenges of serious operations in later years, through all of that he served the people of Mississippi and the people of this Nation with courage and with strength.

Chairman STENNIS was the Senate's preeminent authority on military affairs. His career spanned the period of the cold war. He came to the Senate in 1947, the year the Marshall plan was announced. He left in 1989, the year the Berlin Wall came down. He played a very large role in those events and all the events in between. He had guided this body through the difficult years of the post-Vietnam era and through the subsequent revitalization of America's Armed Forces.

Senator STENNIS consistently supported a strong national defense even in times when it was not popular to do so. I recall clearly the first few years after I came to the Senate in the early 1970's, when virtually all defense programs were being challenged one after another on the Senate floor. Senator STENNIS remained in the Chamber steadfast for hours and weeks and sometimes even months while the bill was pending in the Senate, making the case for maintaining a strong defense for our Nation.

At the same time, Senator STENNIS was downright intolerant of wasted and misspent dollars, and he consistently opposed those who simply wanted to write a Pentagon blank check.

Senator STENNIS remembered well the lessons of preWorld War II isolationism and he constantly opposed the recurring isolationist impulse, especially during the difficult post-Vietnam years. He was a rock of support for NATO at a time when there was strong opposition in the country to foreign military alliances. One of the first assignments he gave me when I got to the Senate was going to NATO and coming back and reporting to him on what I found there.

Yet he remained skeptical of excessive military involvement overseas and he expressed great concern about the plans for intervention in Vietnam before that intervention occurred. Once the Nation was committed to war, however, he always believed that American forces should be provided with the means necessary and the backing to accomplish the objectives assigned to them.

It was my privilege to serve with him since coming to the Senate in 1973 until he left in 1989. He was my friend. He was my mentor. He remained my hero. I will miss him, and I will miss his sound advice and wise judgment. During my first campaign for the Senate in 1972, I came to Washington to meet with Senator STENNIS. This was before I was elected in November but after I had won the Democratic primary. I told him of my strong interest in military affairs, and I asked for his support in obtaining a seat on the Armed Services Committee if I should be elected.

I will always be grateful for his assurances of support and his assistance once I arrived, and certainly all of that played a very important part in my Senate career. With his support, I obtained a seat on the Committee on Armed Services, and I promptly sought his advice on how I should fulfill my duties. He told me, and I recall it well, that the best way to learn about the Defense Department and the military services was to deal directly and extensively with the men and women in uniform as well as the civilian employees of the Department of Defense. He encouraged me to listen to their advice and understand their point of view, to remain open and objective but always to at least listen.

He appointed me to be the chairman of the newly created Manpower and Personnel Subcommittee which gave me the opportunity to follow his advice in a great number of details and with considerable amount of time.

Over the years, I listened to and learned from Senator STENNIS as we debated the great issues of national security and other national affairs that faced our country in the 1970's and 1980's, and the lessons learned then still apply almost every day in the Senate in the 1990's. It was a marvelous education in the ways of the Senate, the conduct of national security affairs and the Constitution of the United States.

In 1987, Senator STENNIS became chairman of the Appropriations Committee, and I became chairman of the Armed Services Committee. It was my good fortune to have him continue to sit on that committee, to be able to begin my chairmanship with Senator STENNIS at my side, because I frequently consulted with him and benefited from his advice on the problems and issues that arose under the jurisdiction of the Armed Services Committee as well as many other matters that came to the floor of the Senate.

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