Statement on Death of Strom Thurmond

Jun 26, 2003
Press Release
Today, Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.) made the following remarks on the House Floor: “With the death of Strom Thurmond, South Carolina has lost its greatest statesman of the 20th Century, just as John C. Calhoun was the most revered South Carolinian of the 19th Century,” said Rep. Wilson. “Strom Thurmond cannot and never will be replaced in the countless hearts of those that loved and respected him.” “The entire Wilson Family mourns this profound loss and we extend our sympathy to the Thurmond Family. “Senator Strom Thurmond will endure as the leading example of a public servant due to his love and devotion to all the people of South Carolina regardless of status, race, politics, or region. “He was our living legend. Strom’s life was dedicated to achieving peace through strength, as shown by his military service in liberating Europe from Nazi fascists by landing at Normandy, his tireless work in fighting for a strong national defense in Congress which ultimately led to the defeat of Soviet communism. “He pioneered the development of South Carolina’s Republican Party from effective non-existence in the 1960’s to majority status by the end of the century. He has been a role model of service to South Carolina’s young people and our family has had three generations on his staff - my wife’s two uncles were staff attorneys, my wife and I were interns, and our three oldest sons were pages. A distinguished highlight for our family was to host Senator Thurmond on the last Sunday before his last election in 1996 at the First Presbyterian Church in Columbia. “The legacy of Strom Thurmond will always be felt in South Carolina because of his steadfast integrity and the meaningful results of his thoughtful constituent service. He was my personal hero and I will miss him dearly,” said Rep. Wilson. ###