Pelosi Statement on the Passing of Senator Robert Byrd

Jun 28, 2010, 10:11 ET from Office of the Speaker of the House

WASHINGTON, June 28 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Speaker Nancy Pelosi issued the following statement today mourning the passing of Senator Robert Byrd of West Virginia, the longest-serving Member in the history of Congress:

"Senator Robert Byrd's extraordinary life has been shaped by service to his state, love of his country, and commitment to the common good. Throughout his historic career in the House and Senate, he never stopped working to improve the lives of the people of West Virginia. While some simply bore witness to history, Senator Byrd shaped it – and strove to build a brighter future for us all.

"His story was the true embodiment of the American dream. An orphan at a young age, Senator Byrd refused to allow his circumstances to limit the reach of his potential, his ability, or his drive to succeed. He educated himself, worked as a butcher and a welder, and sought political office to give back to his community and his neighbors. In doing so, he would ultimately make America a better place for every American.

"Senator Byrd took pride in his status as Congress' foremost scholar on the Constitution, on the Senate, and on the institutions of our democracy. He never hesitated to speak truth to power. He was a voice of reason during times of war and economic hardship. He was always a gentleman, capable of charming any friend or foe. And he always stood on principle, even when others did not.

"Senator Byrd has gone home to be with his beloved Erma Mae. We hope it is a comfort to the Byrd family that so many join them in grieving their loss at this sad time."

SOURCE Office of the Speaker of the House