WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman John Garamendi (D-Walnut Creek, CA), who served as a Peace Corps volunteer with his wife Patti Garamendi in Ethiopia, introduced a resolution honoring the life and legacy of Sargent Shriver, the first director of the Peace Corps. House Resolution 64 is supported by 13 original co-sponsors: Budget Committee Ranking Member Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Foreign Affairs Committee Ranking Member Howard Berman (D-CA), Education and Workforce Committee Ranking Member George Miller (D-CA), Natural Resources Ranking Member Edward Markey (D-MA), Ways and Means Committee Ranking Member Sander Levin (D-MI), Congressman Sam Farr (D-CA), Congresswoman Madeleine Bordallo (D-GU), Congressman James Langevin (D-RI), Congresswoman Betty McCollum (D-MN), Congressman Jim Moran (D-VA), Congressman David Price (D-NC), Congressman Jose Serrano (D-NY), and Congressman Jim McGovern (D-MA).
“Sargent Shriver was a true American hero, a selfless humanitarian, and a firm believer that America’s best days are still ahead. He was also a trusted friend and mentor. This resolution honors his storied life and legacy,” said Congressman Garamendi. “President Kennedy had the big idea, but it was Sarge who had the vision and drive to make the Peace Corps a remarkable success. His enthusiasm motivated Americans to join the Peace Corps and serve men, women, and children in every part of the globe, including Patti and me.”
Sarge’s profound dedication to improving the lives of others took many different and important paths, from leading the effort to end segregation in the Chicago public school system to the founding of the Peace Corps. Sarge’s work on the War on Poverty included the creation of Head Start, Job Corps, VISTA, Neighborhood Health Centers, Legal Services to the Poor, and Foster Grandparents among others.
“Sargent Shriver was a tireless crusader for peace and justice, willing to lend a hand wherever one was needed, and building institutions that could carry on the work into the future. His legacy – the children given a head start, the volunteers whose lives were changed and who changed lives in service around the globe, and the individuals with disabilities now treated with the dignity and respect they deserve – will continue for years to come,” said Congressman Chris Van Hollen.
“For fifty years, the programs Sargent Shriver helped to create have lifted millions of people out of poverty and provided thousands of Americans with once in a lifetime opportunities to serve their communities, gain the invaluable satisfaction that comes from helping others, and take the lessons learned to continue their service to others throughout their lives,” said Congressman Howard Berman. “As a VISTA volunteer myself, Sargent Shriver’s compassion and vision inspired me, just as it inspired generation of Americans to answer the call to serve.”
“Robert Sargent Shriver, Jr. was a public servant in the truest sense of the word, promoting human dignity and peace throughout the world during his extraordinary and distinguished career,” said Congressman Edward J. Markey. “As the first director of the Peace Corps, a US ambassador and founder of such organizations as Head Start and Job Corps, he embodied a commitment to action spurred by a spirit of compassion, justice and excellence that Americans continue to follow to this day.”
“Sarge Shriver embodied the incredible, relentless spirit of public service that makes America great; and will forever hold a special place in our country’s history,” said Congressman Sam Farr. “As the first Director of the Peace Corps, I first met Sargent Shriver in 1963 in small town in Questa, New Mexico, when I was Peace Corps Trainee. Then and now, his commitment to peace building has touched millions of lives, both of the Americans who served and those they served with in communities around the world.”
“Sargent Shriver was the ultimate public servant,” said Congressman Jim Moran. “He supplied the inspirational energy and leadership that drove so many public initiatives, especially the Peace Corps, that served to make the world a better place.”
“Sargent Shriver was the best personification of President Kennedy’s call to serve our country," said Congressman Jose Serrano. "His achievements were not a resumé but rather the story of a life of selfless service and patriotism. My life was most directly touched by Sargent Shriver’s efforts as director of the Office of Economic Opportunity under President Johnson. His efforts in creating Head Start, VISTA, the Community Action Program, and Legal Services for the poor helped lift many in my community in the Bronx out of poverty, and provided them with opportunities they would not have otherwise had. Many of the programs started by Sargent Shriver are today important parts of our social safety net, and continue to provide economic and social justice opportunities."
"Sargent Shriver was a true American original,” said Congressman Jim McGovern. “He was a man of peace and a man of conscience. I'm pleased to join Rep. Garamendi and my other colleagues in paying tribute to him."
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