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[Congressional Record Volume 164, Number 9 (Tuesday, January 16, 2018)]
[Extensions of Remarks]
[Page E48]
From the Congressional Record Online through GPO



                           HON. DARIN LaHOOD

                              of illinois

                    in the house of representatives

                       Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Mr. LaHOOD. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to congratulate the 2017 recipients of the prestigious Ellis Island Medal of Honor.

Presented annually, the Ellis Island Medals of Honor pay tribute to our Nation's immigrant heritage, as well as individual achievement. The Medals are awarded to U.S. citizens from diverse ethnic backgrounds who exemplify outstanding qualities in both their personal and professional lives, while continuing to preserve the richness of their particular heritage and culture. We honor these outstanding individuals because the important work they do today creates a better world for all of us tomorrow. This momentous occasion was celebrated with a patriotic ceremony on Ellis Island and a recommitment by the leaders of the organization to their mission of honoring diversity, fostering tolerance and promoting religious and racial unity across America.

Since the Medals' founding, more than 2,500 American citizens have received the Ellis Island Medal of Honor, including seven American Presidents, numerous United States Senators and Congressmen, two Nobel Laureates, and many athletes, artists, clergy, and military leaders. This Medal is not about material success, nor is it about the politics of immigration; it is about the people who have committed themselves to this nation, embraced the opportunities America offers, and most importantly, who have used those opportunities to not only better their own lives but make a difference in our country and in the lives of its people.

Citizens of the United States hail from every nation known to man. The iconic metaphor of this nation as a veritable melting pot of cultures continues to ring true, and it is this diversity that adds to the unique richness of American life. It is the key to why America is the most innovative, progressive and forward thinking country in the world. The Ellis Island Medals of Honor not only celebrate select individuals but also the pluralism and democracy that enabled our forbearers to celebrate their cultural identities while still embracing the American way of life. This award serves to remind us all that with hard work and perseverance anyone can still achieve the American dream. In addition, by honoring these remarkable Americans, we honor all who share their origins and we acknowledge the contributions they have made to America. I commend NECO and its Board of Directors headed by my good friend, Nasser J. Kazeminy, for honoring these truly outstanding individuals for their tireless efforts to foster dialogue and build bridges between different ethnic groups, as well as to promote unity and a sense of common purpose in our nation.

Mr. Speaker, I ask my colleagues to join me in recognizing the good works of NECO and in congratulating all of the 2017 recipients of the Ellis Island Medal of Honor. 2017 Ellis Island Medal of Honor Recipients Ken Aagaard, David B. Agus, MD, The Honorable Dr. Buzz Aldrin, Hormoz Ameri, Loreen Arbus, Dr. Abbas Ardehali, Nadim C. Ashi, Lieutenant General Ronald L. Bailey, Sook Ja Bang, Herb Baum, Ruth Bedevian, Kurken Yetvart Berksanlar, Mollie Ann Bracigliano, Susan Burchard, Thomas L. Cantone, Robert E. Carlucci, LTC Daniel L. Cederman, Heather Won Choi, Winn Claybaugh, Konstantine Costalas, Peter Cuneo, Robert Currie, BS, MA, PhD (Hon.), FSA Scot, Captain Michael H. Day, Ronald A. DePinho, MD, Joseph D'Urso, Suzanne El Sayegh, MD, FACP, FASN. Dr. Hossein Eslambolchi, Mohammad Farzaneh, Commander Jonathan A. Forsberg, MD, PhD, Michael Greco, Mindy Grossman, Emile K. Haddad, Adil H. Haider, MD, MPH, FACS, Lieutenant General Stayce D. Harris, Patricia de Stacy Harrison, Lucine Mardirosian Harvey, Yumi Hogan, Rachel S. Howitt, Ming Hsieh, Soo-ll Jung, Governor John Kasich, Mumtaz A. Kazim, MD, Thomas A. Keller, Victoria Reggie Kennedy, ESQ, Alsun Keogh, R. Gil Kerlikowske. Olga Kern, Annapoorna S. Kini, MD, Murat N. Koprulu, Sven Kraemer, Honorable Darin M. LaHood, Sherry Lansing, Noel Lateef, Andy Andranik, Madadian, Bill McMorrow, Frank Melkonian, George Fouad Mobassaleh, Sebastian Paul Musco, Francois Nader, MD, MBA, Daniel A. Nigro, Indra K. Nooyi, Jeffrey S. Olson, Eleni Paliros-Bousis, Dinesh Paliwal. Harris Pastides, PhD, Mohan H. Patel, Yashvant Patel, Joan Agajanian Quinn, Honorable Azita Raji, Brigadier General Austin E. Renforth, Commanding General, Marine Corp, Dame Tadia Rice, Ihor S. Sawczuk, MD, FACS, Richard C. Shadyac, Jr., Major General Larry W. Shellito USN (Ret.), EdD, James P. Sherlock, Anne Shih, Assistant Chief Theresa J. Shorten, Maggie Soleimani, Esq., Admiral James Stavridis, USN (Ret.), Carol Gomez Summerhays, DDS, Mary-Christine (M.C.) Sungaila, Esq., Ara Tekian, PRD, MHPE, Dr. Sean Shaheen Tedjarati. Garo M. Terzakian, MD, Rear Admiral Cynthia M. Thebaud, USN (Ret.), Alvin S. Trenk, Veronica Tsang, Cumrun Vafa, Brigadier General Suzanne P. Vares-Lum, USA, Charlie Woo, Chun B. (Charlie) Yim, D.B.A, Ma Cheol Yim, Dr. Fareed Zakaria. International Ellis Island Medal of Honor Recipients Emmanuelle Charpentier, PhD, Amir A. Dossal, FCA, Hamdi Ulukaya. Global Humanitarian Ellis Island Medal of Honor Recipient Malala Yousafzai. ____________________

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