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Text of Capt. John Testrake’s Remarks at the Homecoming

July 2, 1985

Undated (AP) _ Here is the text of remarks by TWA Capt. John L. Testrake, speaking for the freed hostages upon their return to the United States on Tuesday at Andrews Air Force Base, Md.

Mr. President, Mrs. Reagan, dignitaries, ladies and gentlemen of the press, families of the ex-hostages and the people of America:

These words were written by one of our men, one of the hostages. They asked me if I would address them to you, and I wholeheartedly agree with these sentiments.

Speaking for the 39 ex-hostages, we would like to express our sincere respect and gratitude to President Reagan and the United States government for their continued efforts which resulted in the safe and peaceful end to our difficult situation. We hope that your efforts will bring back the seven remaining Americans still held very soon.

Secondly, to the people of America, we’re proud and honored knowing how you joined together in our time of crisis to let it be known that our country was behind us a hundred percent. It was your thoughts and prayers that gave us strength and kept our minds on our main goal, freedom. We are now free and want to take this opportunity to thank and applaud you.

And just in closing I’d like to say that many of my fellow hostages share with me the profound conviction that it was our Father God that brought us through this ordeal safely. And in the spirit of giving credit where credit is due, I just wonder if you’d join with me in a brief word of thanks to the Lord.

Our Father we just gather before you in humble adoration and praise and thanks for we know that it was your strong hands that held us safely through this ordeal, that gave us the courage and the strength to withstand in the darkest times. And so Father we just thank you for this and we give you all the praise and the glory through Jesus. Amen.