Joseph Demottby Representative Joseph R. Pitts
Posted on 2015-12-11
in the house of representatives
Friday, December 11, 2015
Mr. PITTS. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to honor Joseph DeMott of
Mr. DeMott served our country in the Army Air Corps during World War II, suffering severe leg wounds in a mission over what is now Jakarta. While he was in the hospital, Japan overtook the city and he was captured in March 1942. He was sent to a POW camp to do farm labor, build fences, dig ditches, and work on the docks. Joseph DeMott was starved, beaten, and temporarily blinded when the camp was liberated in September 1945. For his heroism, he received two Purple Hearts.
After the war, back home in Pennsylvania, he became an electrical engineer after graduating from Penn State. He went on later to work as a plant manager at Champion Blower and Forge in Lancaster.
This October, 70 years later, he and seven other former POWs held by Japan during World War II traveled to Japan as guests of the Japanese government to revisit and reconcile with their past.
Mr. DeMott's story is an outstanding lesson to us all not only in courage, selflessness, patriotism, and valor, but also in forgiveness. Those who are truly strong are strong enough to forgive.
Mr. Speaker, there are heroes all around us in this country. I am proud to represent over 40,000 of them in the Sixteenth Congressional District of Pennsylvania.