From the Congressional Record Online through GPO
The SPEAKER pro tempore. The Chair recognizes the gentleman from
Arkansas (Mr. Hill) for 5 minutes.
Mr. HILL. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in honor of the bravery and
courage of so many men who sacrificed everything on D-day. At 5:52 in
the morning on June 6, 1944, in a position about 4,000 yards from Omaha
Beach, one of the oldest ships in the U.S. Navy, a World War I
battleship, the USS Arkansas, opened fire on German positions at Omaha
Beach in support of more than 30,000 American soldiers tasked with
securing the beachhead. The countless heroes who stormed the beaches of
Normandy on that fateful day 73 years ago will never be forgotten.
I had the honor of visiting this hallowed ground over Memorial Day,
and while I was paying tribute to the brave soldiers who made the
ultimate sacrifice at the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial, an
older Frenchman by the name of Mr. Vonclair approached me simply
wanting to honor his liberators. He said that he just wanted to thank
an American. He was 10 years old when D-day occurred, and he will never
forget how the United States of America came to his and so many others'
aid in the liberation of Europe from the Nazi menace.
Mr. Vonclair's love for America and our GIs speaks volumes about the
goodwill and exceptional character of our great Nation. It is a
privilege to offer my sincere tribute to the brave men who laid down
their lives in the defense of those French and American shared
convictions of liberty, equality, and fraternity.
Recognizing Staff Sergeant Robert Dale Van Fossen
Mr. HILL. Mr. Speaker, today I rise in recognition of one of
Arkansas' finest, Staff Sergeant Robert Dale Van Fossen of Greenbrier,
Arkansas. On November 22, 1952, a Douglas C-124A Globemaster II took
off from McChord Air Base in Tacoma, Washington, headed for Elmendorf
Air Force Base near Anchorage. Staff Sergeant Robert Dale Van Fossen,
along with 51 others, was onboard. And near Middleton Island, in the
Gulf of Alaska, the plane disappeared.
Eight days after the plane's disappearance, part of the wreckage was
located some 50 miles east of Anchorage. Unfortunately, a week into the
search, the recovery team had to call off the effort due to weather
conditions. The families of the victims were notified they would not
have any remains to bury.
Finally, in March 2016, after 64 years and extensive recovery
efforts, Staff Sergeant Van Fossen's remains were confirmed found and
returned to his home in Heber Springs, Arkansas.
I would like to extend my deepest condolences to the family of Staff
Sergeant Van Fossen and hope that they are now able to find peace that
he is finally home and in his final resting place.
Conway Bikeshare Program
Mr. HILL. Mr. Speaker, last month we recognized National Bike Month
and the many bicycling benefits that we have as citizens. I rise today
to recognize the city of Conway, Arkansas, for its installation of
their successful public bikesharing program and to emphasize its
leading example of advocacy for an active lifestyle.
As a long-time biker, I am pleased to see the city work to provide an
alternative and convenient source of transportation for residents of
Conway to help relieve congestion and promote a healthier city.
As a former board member of the Bicycle Advocacy of Central Arkansas,
I am glad to see Conway's bikesharing program as one more step on the
path towards fulfilling the mayor's vision of a vibrant, healthy, and
bike friendly city.
Recognizing Richie Arnold on His Retirement
Mr. HILL. Mr. Speaker, today I rise in recognition of a great
Arkansan, a long-time Conway resident, and one of the pillars of the
Conway Corporation, Mr. Richie Arnold. Mr. Arnold is retiring from his
post as CEO after 39 years with the company. He hails from Harrison and
is a University of Arkansas graduate with a degree in accounting. He
joined Conway Corporation as a manager of data processing before
becoming manager of finance and accounting and then ultimately the
chief executive officer in 1998.
During his tenure at Conway Corporation, he always worked to keep the
company ahead of the curve and was responsible for transitioning the
utility to full computerization. Mr. Arnold was instrumental in
assisting Conway Corporation in leading a path to diversifying services
by adding new services for the citizens, such as digital cable,
internet, telephone, security services, and water.
Mr. Arnold recently earned a national recognition after being listed
in the “Regional 50” in Cablefax magazine. My congratulations and
best wishes for Mr. Arnold's future endeavors.
In Honor of the 100th Birthday of Mr. Herman Higgs
Mr. HILL. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in honor of Mr. Herman Higgs, a
World War II veteran who celebrated his 100th birthday last month. Born
in Calhoun County, Arkansas, Herman was drafted into the Army and
served the entire span of World War II, including as a POW in the last
year. He was a platoon sergeant of a transportation convoy that was
captured in December 1944 during the Battle of the Bulge.
In the spring of 1945, Patton's army arrived, and Herman was freed,
along with other American GIs and the Jewish prisoners who had survived
the atrocities of the Third Reich. He was granted an honorable
discharge a few months later and returned to Calhoun County, where he
served 29 years as a police officer and 24 years as a U.S. marshal.
The city of North Little Rock, Arkansas, dedicated May 13 as Herman
Higgs Day. Herman's example is one that all Americans and Arkansans can
admire, and I would like to extend my congratulations to Herman for his
life of service and this remarkable milestone of a centennial birthday.