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Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez
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News Release

OPA News Release: [02/08/2010]
Contact Name: Jaime Zapata
Phone Number: (202) 431-1824
Release Number: 10-0186-NAT

Statement of US Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis on the passing of Congressman John Murtha

WASHINGTON — U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis issued the following statement today on the passing of Congressman John Murtha:

"The nation lost an advocate for peace. Pennsylvania lost a great champion. And I lost a mentor and great friend.

"I am deeply saddened by the passing of Congressman John Murtha, and my thoughts and prayers are with Mrs. Murtha and her family at this difficult time.

"Jack — as he was known to those of us who had the pleasure of working alongside him in Congress — served the people of the Pennsylvania's 12th Congressional District since 1974. And over the course of his distinguished tenure, he was instrumental in bringing thousands of family-sustaining jobs to Western Pennsylvania and the rest of the county.

"A recipient of two Purple Hearts and the Bronze Star with Combat 'V,' Jack Murtha was — first and foremost — a warrior for peace and human rights. For his tireless efforts towards these ends, he was honored with the John F. Kennedy Profiles in Courage Award, becoming one of only two House members to receive this distinguished recognition. It was in that small alumni club that I first got to know him.

"With the passing of this gentle giant of the U.S. House of Representatives, our nation has lost a tireless champion.  He was someone who devoted his life to service, who cared deeply for those in his community, and whose work always made a positive difference in the lives of Americans.

"Jack Murtha will be sorely missed. So, as we remember him, let us keep his memory alive and continue working towards the same goals to which he devoted his life — justice, freedom, and peace."