MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND OBSERVANCES AT THE NIMITZ
US Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison and Texas Land Commission Jerry Patterson to Speak Memorial Day
Monday at 10 AM
Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison and Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson will speak at the Memorial Day Observance at the National Museum of the Pacific War in Fredericksburg. The senior Senator from Texas will be offering welcoming remarks and the Commissioner will be making the keynote address. The ceremony begins at 10 AM Monday, May 31st in the Memorial Courtyard of the Museum at 311 E. Austin Street.
Senator Hutchison was elected to the US Senate in 1993 in a special election, the first — and to date the only — woman elected to represent the state in the Senate. She has been re-elected three times. She is the Ranking Member of the Senate Commerce Committee and serves on the Appropriations Committee. She is the former Chairman and now Ranking Member on the Appropriations Subcommittee on Military Construction and Veterans Affairs. The Senator grew up in La Marque, Texas and graduated from the University of Texas and the UT Law School. Prior to her election to the Senate, she was a member of the Texas House of Representatives and was elected state Treasurer in 1990.
Commissioner Patterson is a native of Houston, a Texas A&M graduate and a Marine, retiring as a Lt. Colonel in 1993. He was a pilot in Vietnam. Five consecutive generations of Patterson’s family have served our nation in time of war. His son, a Marine attack helicopter pilot, recently returned from his second tour of duty in Iraq.
Patterson is only the second Republican to serve as Land Commissioner since Reconstruction, a post he has held since 2003. Prior to this, he represented the Houston area in the Texas Senate. He chaired the first Veterans Affairs Committee in the Senate where his legislation created the state Veterans Home Program.
Established in 1836, the Texas General Land Office is the oldest state agency. As Land Commissioner, Patterson is primarily responsible for the management of 13 million acres of state mineral, surface and submerged lands for the benefit of the Permanent School Fund. The Land Office also acts as the steward of the Texas Coast, provides benefits for Texas veterans and protects the historic documents in the Land Office Archives.
Upon the Conclusion of the Memorial Day ceremonies, more than 50 commemorative wreaths will be place at various plaques that are lining the limestone walls of the Courtyard. Each will be placed in honor and remembrance of a unit, ship or individual who served in World War II. Honoring those who have paid the supreme price in the current War on Terrorism will be Mrs. Lorna Eckhardt. She will place a wreath in honor of her son, Christopher “Chris” Staats, a native of Fredericksburg, who was killed by an IED in Afghanistan on October 16, 2009. At the time he was serving with the National Guard on a farm imitative program assisting the Afghan people.
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