Mourning the Passing of Congressman Vicente ``Ben’’ Garrido Blazby Former Representative Eni F. H. Faleomavaega
Posted on 2014-01-09
of american samoa
in the house of representatives
Thursday, January 9, 2014
Mr. FALEOMAVAEGA. Mr. Speaker, it is with great sadness that I
learned today of the passing of former Congressman Vicente `Ben'
Garrido Blaz. Elected to the U.S. Congress in 1984 to represent the
Territory of Guam, Congressman Blaz was an exceptional leader for his
people. He was also an example of statesmanship to the greater Pacific
region, including American Samoa. He will truly be missed.
As a genuine patriot, Blaz first served his country as a Marine and served three tours in Osaka, Okinawa, and Vietnam. He was the first general officer from Guam to serve in any branch of the U.S. Armed Forces. In 1977, he became the first Chamorro ever to be promoted to the rank of Brigadier General.
Congressman Blaz served Guam for eight years in the U.S. Congress from 1985-1993 (99th Congress--102nd Congress). As a freshman member and respected leader among his peers, he was also elected as President of his freshman class. I will remember him also as a dear friend who welcomed me as a fellow islander and brother after I was elected to serve American Samoa in 1988.
Congressman Blaz will be remembered for his dedicated service and pioneering spirit. He will also be remembered as a family man: a loving husband to his late wife, Ann Evers Blaz, a devoted father and grandfather. I count myself as one of many who was blessed to share a friendship with this great man and I will hold close to my heart his example of leadership, passion for his Chamorro culture, and immense love for his people.
The people of American Samoa join together to honor our Chamorro brother. We give our deepest condolences to his family, especially his sons, Mike and Tom, and their families, and to the people of Guam as they mourn his passing.