Rep. Paul Cook Participates with Bipartisan Group to Handwash Vietnam Veterans Memorial
Americans owe a debt of gratitude – and respect – to all of our military veterans for their service. But Yucaipa’s Congressman Paul Cook, (R-8th District-Apple Valley) who is himself a veteran, took soap, rags, brooms and other cleaning tools in hand recently when he and a bipartisan group of 15 other congressmembers handwashed the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. Two other California congressmen — Rep. Gilbert Cisneros (D-39th District-Fullerton) and Rep. Jimmy Panetta (D-20th District-Salinas) – were also part of the clean-up crew.
the Vietnam Veterans Memorial was constructed in 1982 on two acres in Washington, D.C. The national memorial that honors service members of the U.S. armed forces who fought in the Vietnam War, service members who died in service in Vietnam, and those service members who were unaccounted for during the war. The memorial chronologically lists the names of more than 58,000 Americans who gave their lives in service to their country.
“It was very moving to join my colleagues this morning at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial as we paid tribute to the more than 58,000 men and women who perished in Vietnam,” said Rep. Cook. “Many of them served alongside me, but didn’t make it home. We must never forget their service or their sacrifice. Our nation is forever in debt.”
The bipartisan group of U.S. Representatives washed the Vietnam Veterans Memorial by hand to show respect and gratitude for Vietnam veterans. The gathering was a symbol of gratitude for the fallen and a unifying exercise on the last day of the last day of the most recent session before the district work period, which began July 29.
Rep. Cook earned two Purple Hearts and a Bronze Star during his combat years. He is now a member of the House Natural Resources and Armed Services committees. Rep. Cook served as an infantry officer and retired after 26 years of service after having attained the rank of Colonel in the U.S. Marine Corps.