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Lott Remarks at the Capitol

July 28, 1998

Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott’s remarks at the memorial service for Capitol Police officers Jacob J. Chestnut and John Gibson:

Members of the Chestnut family, members of the Gibson family, and members of the Capitol Police Force of the United States of America, this is truly a very emotional moment for the United States Congress family.

We share the pain and the suffering of this family. We struggle to find a way to express our feeling of grief and sorrow and appreciation at the same time.

These two men have proven that they are the very best of friends, because they have paid the ultimate price.

In this room, there are murals, pictures, statues of the great men and women in our country’s history.

Today, we honor two men that should rightly be recognized in this hall of heroes.

We’ve had presidents lie in repose here, generals, members of Congress, unknown soldiers. But it’s appropriate today that we honor these two men who did their job, who stood the ground and defended freedom, this very room, and all of our lives, and that we honor them here with these heroes.

Abraham Lincoln, in his most famous speech, said it best when he said that there’s very little that we could say to add or detract from the moment and the sacrifice that these men have given. But we must try to express our love and our appreciation.

At the top of this dome is a statute. Many argue about its symbolism. But it stands for the spirit of freedom. And today, the spirit of freedom is in this room because of these men. And it will continue to live in this building, in our hearts and as we maintain freedom and liberty for future generations.

The monument for these two heroes, ... _ J.J. Chestnut and John Gibson, is the monument of freedom that is so exemplified by this building.

On behalf of the Congress and the Senate and the American people, we extend to you our sympathy, our love and our appreciation.

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