Rep. Black Welcomes Home Fallen Tennessee Soldiers from Mexican American War
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Diane Black (R-TN-06) was the sole Member of Congress to attend a Repatriation of Remains solemn movement at Dover Air Force Base welcoming home as many as 13 fallen American soldiers from the Mexican-American war. Anthropologists believe the soldiers are Tennesseans who served in the war’s 1846 Battle of Monterrey.
The solemn movement caps off Congressman Black’s quest to bring the soldiers back to American soil for a proper burial, dating back to a series of letters she sent in 2012 to then-Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta and then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton urging the Obama Administration’s assistance in securing the return of these fallen servicemen. Inexplicably, a response from the Administration that same year informed Congressman Black that the fate of the soldiers’ remains “rests with the Mexican government.” Undeterred, Congressman Black continued her correspondence through 2013, and as recently as earlier this month; pressuring the Administration to act and asking for regular updates.
Congressman Black joined faculty from Middle Tennessee State University, who worked diligently alongside her office to secure the return of the soldiers’ remains, at the private ceremony. Black released the following statement:
“Coming from a family of military veterans, this journey has been deeply personal for me. I may not know these soldiers’ names, and I may never get the chance to, but they deserve our gratitude and a proper burial that honors their sacrifice. As we await the results of forensic testing, we do so with hope that these heroes are identified and returned to their families so that, somewhere in Tennessee, a handful of young sons and daughters would know of the patriotism and courage displayed by a family patriarch they never even knew and would gain a deeper love of their country in the process. Sometimes it takes 170 years to do it, but Tennesseans can be proud to know that the United States has once again honored a sacred creed: ‘leave no man behind,’” said Congressman Diane Black.
NOTE: Congressman Black’s travel to Dover, Delaware today required her to miss a vote on H. Res. 897, a rule bill providing for consideration of H.R. 5303, the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) and H.R. 6094, providing a six-month delay in the Department of Labor’s new overtime pay regulations. Additionally, Congressman Black’s travel required her to miss a vote overriding the President’s veto of S. 2040, the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act.
Rep. Black, representatives from the offices of Senator Corker and Congressman Cooper, and military personnel await the arrival of our Tennessee soldiers
Rep. Black, MTSU personnel, military officials, and others who worked to secure the return of our soldiers
Rep. Black speaks at a press conference prior to the solemn movement
Military personnel transport our soldiers’ remains from the airplane as part of the solemn movement
Congressman Diane Black represents Tennessee’s 6th Congressional District. She has been a nurse for more than 40 years and serves on the House Ways and Means Committee and Budget Committee