Honoring Audie Murphy, Texas Legislative Medal of Honor Recipient|
Read by the Honorable Ralph M. Hall
Proceedings and Debates of the 113th Congress, First Session
House of Representatives
Mr. Hall of Texas: Mr. HALL. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to pay tribute to one of our nation's greatest war heroes, Audie Murphy. Major Murphy, who hailed from the Fourth District of Texas, was an extraordinary man in many ways. Initially turned away by several branches of the United States Armed Services due to his young age and slight build, Audie Murphy's patriotism led him to lie about his age in order to serve and defend his country. This patriotism and his unusual valor in combat led him to distinction as the most decorated hero of World War II, earning every U.S. military combat award for valor available from the U.S. Army, including the Medal of Honor, two Silver Stars, three Purple Hearts, and the Distinguished Service Cross. It is therefore fitting, though belated, that Major Murphy was posthumously awarded Texas' highest military honor - the Texas Legislative Medal of Honor - on October 29, 2013.
Major Murphy earned his first Medal of Honor for his valor on January 26, 1945 near Holtzwihr, France. Six tanks and waves of Nazi infantry attacked his Company B, but Second Lieutenant Murphy remained at his command post throughout the fierce fighting. Although he suffered a leg wound, he continued to fight for more than an hour until his ammunition was exhausted and the enemy was in retreat.
Audie Murphy did not stop where most men would on the battlefield or in life. In fact, he lived out the remainder of his years after the war as an accredited writer, actor, and songwriter. His book, To Hell and Back, became a national best seller, and the movie made from his book was Universal Studio's biggest hit in its 43-year history, where it stood as their highest-grossing movie for twenty years. He was, by all accounts, an outstanding American and legend in his own time.
|Congressional Record Entry|
November 20, 2013
That being said, it should be noted that he was also a man of deep modesty who considered himself "just another man." He fought not because he loved war - in fact, he wrote of "a war where hell is six feet deep" - but because he loved the values and freedoms we enjoy in America, and he felt compelled to do his duty for his country. He represents some of the greatest qualities of a hero including: an unfailing sense of duty, a strong sense of patriotism, and a degree of modesty that recognizes the humble roots of this great country.
We remember Audie Murphy because of his outstanding feats, but also because he remains perhaps one of the truest examples of what it means to be American. He rose to greatness not only because he was remarkable, himself - though he wouldn't admit it - but because of the remarkable respect and love he held for his fellow Americans at home.
I was proud to ride in many veterans parades with Audie and was pleased to know him as a personal friend. I also met his sisters - he was always loyal to his family and found time for them.
As the representative for the Fourth District of Texas, I know we are proud to call Audie Murphy's home our home as well, and we are pleased the Great State of Texas has given Major Murphy due recognition for his outstanding service to our country by awarding him the Texas Legislative Medal of Honor. Mr. Speaker, I ask my colleagues to join me in remembering this great American hero and thanking his family for his service.