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The Hill: Texas lawmakers remember troops, family members who fought on D-Day

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Washington, June 9, 2014 | comments

Texas lawmakers remember troops, family members who fought on D-Day

With Friday marking the 70th anniversary of D-Day, Texas legislators praised veterans who fought in World War II and recounted some of their personal connections to the soldiers who landed at Normandy.

Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, took to the Senate floor this week to honor members of the military who died June 6, 1944. Cornyn, who visited Normandy with his wife several years ago, said his father-in-law stormed the westernmost beach the second day of the invasion.

“He said after the first day it was much easier to get on the beach, but the effort then to clear out the German army in the hedgerows right behind the beach was murderous work and very dangerous,” Cornyn said. His father-in-law, Don Hanson, died earlier this year at age 96.

Cornyn’s father, also deceased, served as a bomber pilot in the war and spent several months in a POW camp.

The senator pointed out during his speech that though Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower grew up in Kansas, he was born in Denison, Texas.

Rep. Ruben Hinojosa, D-Mercedes, traveled to France for the anniversary and met with veterans who were part of Operation Neptune.

“I could see in their eyes, when they shared their stories of the horrific battle, of the dead and dying, and of those who never gave up, that they could never forget the hell that this beach became one early morning,” Hinojosa said.

Last month, Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Austin, gave a speech with President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s granddaughter, Susan Eisenhower, at the World War II Memorial for a Victory in Europe Day ceremony.

During his remarks, he raised a framed photograph of his father, James Addington McCaul Jr., who served as a bombardier in the operations leading up to the seaborne invasion on D-Day.

Rep. Gene Green, D-Houston spoke aboard the USS Texas on Friday. (AP)

Rep. Gene Green, D-Houston, spoke aboard the USS Texas on Friday. (AP)

Rep. Gene Green, D-Houston, spoke aboard the USS Texas, which shelled the Normandy beaches, on Friday, when World War II veterans were awarded the French Medal of Honor. Green’s father served in the Army Air Corps for four and a half years, and his uncles were also in the army and navy.

Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Tyler, said in a statement that he hoped to remember the hundreds who lost their lives in practice invasions before D-Day. Rep. Kevin Brady, R-The Woodlands, recognized the “Greatest Generation” and the thousands of troops who died during the Normandy attack.

Rep. Al Green, D-Houston, commemorated the Allied soldiers who fought “for the freedom of so many,” and Rep. John Culberson, R-Houston, called the event “America at its best,” while Rep. Randy Weber, R-Beaumont, said it was the day that “the course of history was changed.”

“As we remember the commitment and service of these men today, I hope we reflect on our ongoing commitment to the armed forces and the men and women who keep our country safe,” Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Laredo, said.


6 lawmakers who've never missed a vote

By Athena Cao

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Six members of Congress have never missed a vote in their careers on Capitol Hill.

Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) has cast more than 5,500 consecutive votes since she was sworn into office in 1997. Reps. Justin Amash (R-Mich.) and Steve Womack (R-Ark.), who were elected in 2010, have also not missed a vote. The others are Sen. Deb Fischer (R-Neb.) and Reps. Derek Kilmer (D-Wash.) and David Jolly (R-Fla.).

This Congress, 12 other members have logged perfect attendance records, including Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.).

Rep. Leonard Lance (R-N.J.), who is among the dozen, noted that his state is relatively close to Washington, D.C. But he takes pride in making every roll call, saying when an appointment or meeting conflicts with a vote, “I excuse myself form the office to make sure I am on the floor at the appropriate time.”

For this article, The Hill reviewed roll call data on as well as

Current members who have never missed a vote


Susan Collins (R-Maine) (started serving in 1997)

Deb Fischer (R-Neb.) (started serving in 2013)


Justin Amash (R-Mich.) (started serving in 2011)

Derek Kilmer (D-Wash.) (started serving in 2013)

Steve Womack (R-Ark.) (started serving in 2011)

David Jolly (R-Fla.) (started serving in 2014)

Current members who have not missed votes in this Congress


Susan Collins (R-Maine)

Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.)

Deb Fischer (R-Neb.)

Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa)

Kay Hagan (D-N.C.)

Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.)

Ron Wyden (D-Ore.)


Justin Amash (R-Mich.)

John Barrow (D-Ga.)

Henry Cuellar (D-Texas)

Charles Dent (R-Pa.)

David Jolly (R-Fla.) (started serving in 2014)

Derek Kilmer (D-Wash.)

Leonard Lance (R-N.J.)

Billy Long (R-Mo.)

Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.)

David McKinley (R-W.Va.)

Steve Womack (R-Ark.)

Read more: 
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