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Cheri B.
Democrat IL 17

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  • Stan Musial Veterans Memorial Bridge

    by Representative Cheri Bustos

    Posted on 2013-06-25

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    BUSTOS. I yield myself such time as I may consume.

    Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of H.R. 2383, to designate the new Interstate 70 bridge over the Mississippi River connecting Illinois and St. Louis as the ``Stan Musial Veterans Memorial Bridge''--or the ``Stan Span,'' as many affectionately call it.

    This bill names the bridge in honor of one of the greatest players in baseball history, as well as the millions of brave Americans who have served this country in the Armed Forces. Naming the bridge after Mr. Musial and saluting the millions of Americans who have served in our Armed Forces is a fitting tribute to their bravery and sacrifice.

    Few players have contributed more to America's pastime than Stan Musial. In his 22 seasons in major league baseball playing for the St. Louis Cardinals, Stan the Man was selected to the All-Star game a record 24 times, named the National League's Most Valuable Player three times, and played on three World Series championship title teams. Musial was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1969 on the first ballot.

    Moreover, Stan Musial's contributions go well beyond the baseball diamond. Like many of his generation, Mr. Musial served our country during World War II. During his tour of duty in the Navy, Musial joined with more than 16 million other Americans to serve our Nation as members of the U.S. Armed Forces during World War II. In retirement, Stan Musial contributed his time to causes such as the USO, the Senior Olympics, and the Boy Scouts, and served as chairman of the President's Council on Physical Fitness from 1964 to 1967.

    Stan Musial received the Navy Memorial's Lone Sailor Award in 2007. It honors Navy veterans who excel in their civilian careers while exemplifying the Navy's core values of honor, courage, and commitment. In February 2011, President Obama presented Stan Musial with the Presidential Medal of Honor. That's the highest honor bestowed on a civilian in America.

    My personal appreciation of Stan Musial goes way back to my childhood, growing up in Springfield, Illinois. Our family would make regular car trips every summer to Busch Stadium to cheer on our beloved Cardinals. When we weren't able to make it to games in person, we would listen to them on KMOX radio back home. I still remember the voices of Jack Buck and Harry Caray, who then would go on to announce for the Cubs.

    I also fondly remember waiting around Busch Stadium after the games with my brother, my sister, and my mom and dad just to catch a glimpse of some of the Cardinal greats like Curt Flood. We loved watching Lou Brock run the bases. We loved watching Bob Gibson pitch.

    And we just loved baseball so much that, later in his life, my dad would go on to work for Major League Baseball. I'm proud to say that my brother, Dan Callahan, would be the head coach of Southern Illinois University baseball for 16 seasons, until he passed away a couple of years ago from cancer. As you see, my family's bond with greater St. Louis, the Cardinals, and baseball is a strong one.

    This bill does not just recognize the contributions of one man, but, rather, it salutes the service of all our veterans. Stan Musial was a hero to many, not just for the way he played baseball, but for how he lived his life. Like so many of the heroes who have served this Nation in our military, he lived his life with integrity and with honor. Naming this bridge in honor of Stan Musial and all veterans is a symbol of our gratitude for the sacrifices they made to protect our freedoms.

    I urge my colleagues to join me in supporting H.R. 2383, to dedicate this bridge in honor of Stan the Man Musial and all the men and women who have served our Nation in the Armed Forces. We are proud to remember and honor all they endured for our democracy and to safeguard our democracy.

    Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.

    {time} 1710 Mr. RODNEY DAVIS of Illinois. Mr. Speaker, I'd first like to thank my colleague and my good friend from Illinois (Mrs. Bustos) for her kind comments, and also for honoring her father's service to Major League Baseball and her brother's service to the youth and to the students at Southern Illinois University during his time there as a head baseball coach.

    I now wish to yield 5 minutes to the gentlewoman from Missouri (Mrs. Wagner).

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