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S. RES. 111
Resolved, That the Senate has heard with profound sorrow and deep regret the announcement of the death of the Honorable JOHN C. STENNIS, late a Senator from the State of Mississippi.
Resolved, That the Secretary communicate these resolutions to the House of Representatives and transmit an enrolled copy thereof to the family of the deceased.
Resolved, That when the Senate recesses today, it recess as a further mark of respect to the memory of the deceased Senator.
Mr. SANTORUM. Mr. President, I move to reconsider the vote by which the resolution was agreed to.
Mr. FORD. I move to lay that motion on the table.
THURSDAY, April 27, 1995.
Mr. INOUYE. Mr. President, Senator JOHN STENNIS will long be remembered as the "conscience of the Senate" for his personal religious convictions and his many years of work on the Senate code of ethics. I will always think of him as a friend, and as one of the most effective chairmen of the Defense Subcommittee of the Appropriations Committee. We shared many of the same beliefs in that the United States should always strive for the most effective Armed Forces in the world, and his leadership was always deserving of respect and admiration.
Despite physical ailments and the death of his beloved wife of 52 years, Senator STENNIS remained committed to this body and to his countrymen. He could always be found in his offices, never leaving until the Senate had adjourned for the day. He never gave up when he believed that he was right.
We need men and women who will fight for what they believe, and we should look to JOHN STENNIS as an excellent example of the forthrightness and dedication necessary to be effective leaders today.
Since Senator STENNIS retired from this body in 1989, the Senate has been denied his wisdom and his leadership. Our entire country mourns his loss.
Mr. KYL. Mr. President, I ask Unanimous consent that all Senators have until the close of business on May 10, 1995, to submit eulogies for our former colleague, the Senator from
Mississippi, Mr. STENNIS, and that at that time eulogies be printed as a Senate document.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
TUESDAY, May 2, 1995.
Mr. COCHRAN. Mr. President, it was my honor, a unique honor and special pleasure to serve in this body as the State colleague of JOHN C. STENNIS for 10 years. I deeply appreciated the bond of friendship, respect and trust that developed between us as we worked together to represent the interests of the State of Mississippi, and its citizens, in the U.S. Senate.
He had already established a reputation for intelligent leadership in this body when I arrived here, and I considered it my good fortune to be able to learn first hand from him and from his example. We were never rivals. We talked almost every day. He was always friendly and courteous to me, as he was with every other Senator. Although we were members of different political parties, that did not interfere with or detract from our relationship.
Our State has had its share of demagogues, as all other States have, and I have deplored their excesses and have been embarrassed by them. But in Senator STENNIS we saw a man as pure in heart and deed with less inclination to inflame the passions of the voters with exaggerated and flamboyant rhetoric as any we have ever elected to public office, and I admired him for that. He preferred to win a debate or an election on the basis of the well argued evidence, rather than to prey upon the fears or suspicions or prejudices of the audience.
He was the kind of Senator I try to be.
During his more than 41 years of service as a U.S. Senator, he was steady, conscientious and extraordinarily successful in every assignment and undertaking.
From his earliest days to his last days he gave the full measure of energy and his ability to the service of this body and to his State. He saw that as his duty, and he took that as seriously as anyone who has ever served here.
Others have recalled in their speeches the positions of responsibility he held and the legislation he authored and caused to be adopted. There were many of each, and they are
persuasive testimony to his effectiveness as a Senator. I will not try to recount all of them.
What may not be as easily measured is the influence he had in the Senate by the force of his character. He was the epitome of rectitude, of fairness, of decorum. His selection to be the first chairman of the Senate's Select Committee on Standards and Conduct was an illustration of the view that others in the body had of him, and the confidence they had in him to do what was right and just.
That is why he was so admired and appreciated in Mississippi. He got things done that helped our State, and its people, but he was more than an effective Senator. He was totally honest and trustworthy.
Mr. HATFIELD. Mr. President, I join with my colleagues today in remembering a man who embodied the U.S. Senate perhaps better than anyone, Senator JOHN C. STENNIS. Known as a Senator's Senator and the conscience of the institution, his presence for 41 years in the Senate was formidable, yet comforting and reassuring.
While his departure represents the passing of an era and is cause for our grief, it is also certainly cause to rejoice, for our friend is no doubt experiencing the rewards of a faithful heart and humble service. The legacy he leaves is one defined by his strength, integrity, and compassion.
Growing up in rural Mississippi, JOHN CORNELIUS STENNIS learned the lessons that would last him a lifetime. Such lessons molded a man whose southern courtesy would become a mark of dignity and distinction. After receiving a law degree from the University of Virginia in 1927, young JOHN STENNIS spent 19 full years serving first as a State representative, then district prosecuting attorney and finally a circuit judge before being elected to the U.S. Senate in 1947.
Much in the same manner Senator STENNIS took so many of us under his wing, upon his arrival in the Senate, it was Senator Richard B. Russell who mentored the like-minded Mississippian. Soon, Senator STENNIS' sharp mind and unmatched work ethic earned him seats on the powerful Armed Services and Appropriations Committees. As chairman of the new Armed Services Preparedness Subcommittee, Senator STENNIS became a watchdog for the Department of Defense and the armed services. His fair investigations and scrutiny of these organizations quickly secured him a reputation which would never be tarnished: He was analytical, critical, and he held unwavering convictions.
The impact JOHN STENNIS had over this 41 years in the U.S. Senate surpasses description. Early in his Senate career he courageously spoke against McCarthyism. While assuring America would have the strongest and most capable military on the planet, he demanded accountability for each defense dollar spent. While always standing by his commitment to a strong military, he also began to see the growing danger of our Federal deficit and supported necessary defense budget cutbacks. A consummate professional, Chairman STENNIS commented more than once that his work was his play. Indeed, the joy with which he carried out our Nation's business was contagious-our Senator's Senator was humorous and likable, a role model to Members on both sides of the aisle.
The trials Senator STENNIS experienced during his sunset years in the U.S. Senate are almost unthinkable. He was shot twice by a burglar in 1973, but he returned to the work of the Senate; he lost his wife of 50 years in 1983, but he returned to the work of the Senate; and he lost a leg to cancer in 1984, but again he returned to the work of the Senate. Through all this, Senator STENNIS remained a commanding presence. As the distinguished senior Senator from Virginia once put it, Senator STENNIS ". . . had a great spiritual reservoir that came to his rescue and served as a solid, strong, foundation for him." Well, the spiritual reservoir overflowed and served as a solid and strong foundation for the rest of us as well.
To more than one Senator, JOHN C. STENNIS was more than a colleague, even more than a mentor. Indeed, I am not the only Senator still in this body who would call Senator STENNIS a father figure-a figure worthy of our respect and deserving of our love. As long as he was in the Senate, I was his student-especially on the Appropriations Committee. Even when serving as chairman it was his counsel and leadership, his spirit and presence which guided me through the many hours of committee sessions and floor deliberations. To Senator JOHN C. STENNIS I owe a debt of gratitude that is both professional and personal. Seeing his patient and humble years presiding as chairman and as President Pro Tempore brought me peace of mind as I struggled through the difficult periods of my own service. And what would Senator STENNIS' response to this tribute be? Well, about 7 years ago, upon his retirement, he remarked that he “. . . was just trying to do what looked like to be the duty and keep it up the best he could." He certainly did, and much, much more.
In the Book of Ezekiel, the third chapter, God declares the Prophet to be a watchman over the house of Israel. Ezekiel is commanded to warn the rebellious Israelities of God's impending judgment. Well, for the past several decades, JOHN CORNELIUS STENNIS has been our watchman. He has always cared for, and often admonished, a dignified yet sometimes unruly body of U.S. Senators. He has and will continue to represent the history of this body, to represent the integrity of this body and to represent the stature of this body. For his years of service, leadership, and friendship, I am eternally grateful.
WEDNESDAY, May 3, 1995.
Mr. HEFLIN. Mr. President, I would like to add my voice to those which have already lamented the passing of our dear former colleague from Mississippi, JOHN STENNIS. About 25 of us went down to Mississippi last week to his funeral to say goodbye to one of the true giants in the history of this institution.
I recall about 10 years ago, some Senators, including myself, went to Senator STENNIS' hometown of DeKalb, Mississippi, where the people of DeKalb and surrounding areas had gathered to help celebrate his birthday. There was a great outpouring of love and genuine affection from friends and neighbors who had known him, his father, and others before him. No one really knows an individual in the same way that the people of his hometown do, and you could see that as they came together that day. There was an authentic feeling of closeness and friendship.
DeKalb is a small community, probably, smaller than the one I come from. The people there the salt of the earth— knew their favorite son, JOHN STENNIS, for his character and integrity. The great outpouring of affection which was on display that day was the best evidence anyone ever needed of his graciousness, honesty, decency, and dedication to principle. All of us there could see that he stood very tall with those who knew him best.
JOHN STENNIS and I had much in common, both of us from southern families that go back for many generations. I used to enjoy the stories he would tell about his early years and how his father would raise cotton, transport it over to Alabama, and ship it down the river to Mobile. We were both