WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA) delivered a speech on the Senate floor recognizing the life and legacy of Mr. Johnnie Jones, a World War II veteran and civil rights leader who passed away over the weekend at the age of 102. Last year, Cassidy presented a Purple Heart to Mr. Jones for his service during the D-Day invasion and his injuries sustained during the battle.
“Louisiana, and the entire country, should both mourn the loss and celebrate the life of an American hero and dedicated civil rights leader, Johnnie Jones, who recently died at age 102. But in his 102 years, fought for our country, fought for the free world, and also fought to bring civil rights to a better place,” said Dr. Cassidy.
Click here to watch Cassidy’s full speech.
Cassidy’s speech as delivered can be found below:
Today, Louisiana, and the entire country, should both mourn the loss and celebrate the life of an American hero and dedicated civil rights leader, Johnnie Jones, who recently died at age 102. But in his 102 years, fought for our country, fought for the free world, and also fought to bring civil rights to a better place.
During World War II, helped storm the beaches of Normandy as part of D-Day, liberate France from Nazi occupation, along the way being a part of the Battle of the Bulge.
Mr. Jones was injured during the D-Day invasion when his ship hit a mine and suffered shrapnel wounds from German air attacks.
But he never stopped fighting.
Once back at home in Louisiana, Mr. Jones led civil rights efforts in Baton Rouge.
After earning his law degree from Southern University, he legally represented the organizers of the Baton Rouge Bus Boycott, which served as a template for the Montgomery Bus Boycott.
Throughout his career, he took on several civil rights cases, advocated for equality under the law, and even served a term in the Louisiana House of Representatives.
His commitment to service and his love of our country was not just admirable, but inspiring.
Last year, I had the honor to present him with a Purple Heart for his sacrifice and injuries during the D-Day invasion in 1944.
My grandson has been to the World War II museum in New Orleans, a tremendous museum, and he is now very much into the heroism of our soldiers who were in both World War II and World War I.
So I took my grandson to meet Mr. Jones because I wanted him to meet a real-life hero.
And here you see him, at 102 so proud of his medals, saluting.
So my grandson, just the other day said, “Paw Paw, remind me of that man we met?”
So him meeting Mr. Jones [one] year ago, has inspired a seven-year-old to live his life a better way.
So as Mr. Jones salutes us, shall we all be inspired, shall we always remember the heroism abroad and the heroism here.
Thank you, Mr. President, I yield the floor.