A Speech Worth Reading


The following is a portion of a speech made on the Senate Floor this week by Senator Johnny Isakson of Georgia.  He was speaking in support of the National Service Act.

I thought his speech was worth sharing.

This past Saturday, I attended one of the most moving ceremonies of my life--moving in a sad way but also in an uplifting way.

Unfortunately, a wonderful young lady, 24 years old, from Cumming, GA, Kate Puzey, was killed in Benin, Africa, on March 11. She was a Peace Corps worker who graduated first in her class in high school, was an honors graduate from William and Mary, and she studied French in Paris to learn the language that led her to be able to go to this part of the world and teach this poor African nation about agriculture and other skills. She served since July of 2007 and was in the last 2 months of her service in Benin.

I went to this service because I felt moved. I am ranking member of the African Subcommittee on Foreign Relations. Paul Coverdell, who served in the seat I now hold, was a director of the Peace Corps . I felt moved that morning when I got to go to the service and sit in the back of the room and pay my respects to a great American. I left having listened to 12 eulogies by young people whose lives were changed by Kate. The acting director of the Peace Corps , Ms. Jody Olsen, delivered a beautiful eulogy.

I realized how much voluntarism means to the United States, not just on our shores but in Africa and on continents around the world. I commend people such as Senator Dodd who have given time in the Peace Corps . I ask the Senate to give its unanimous support to this legislation. I dedicate this speech in honor of Kate Puzey, to her life, and what she did as a Georgian and as a volunteer. She joined the Peace Corps and changed the plight, the lives, the hopes, and in fact the future of children in that small country on the west coast of Africa.

God bless the Peace Corps and the life of Kate Puzey. And thanks to those who have volunteered and to the committee that has brought this National Service Act reauthorization to the floor of the Senate.

I have found volunteering in the Peace Corps to be a wonderful experience for me. I hope that many more Americans in the future have the opportunity to serve both at home and abroad.


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