(WASHINGTON, D.C.) -- Tomorrow marks the first anniversary of the plane crash that killed Minnesota Senator Paul Wellstone, his wife Sheila, their daughter Marcia and three of his staff members. Today Senator Patty Murray (D-Wash.) reflected on this occasion.
“It hardly seems like a year since we heard the tragic news that Senator Wellstone was no longer with us. I have truly missed Paul and his wife Sheila this past year. Together, they were a tremendous force who reminded us what was right. Through their hope, energy and determination, they inspired us as they fought for social justice. The Senate is lessened without Paul’s courage, passion and vision.”
Senator Wellstone’s upset election to the Senate in 1990 helped convince Senator Murray, then a state legislator, to run in 1992. They served together on the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) and Veterans Affairs Committees.
“Paul never wavered from his principles and was relentless in working for the causes he believed in. I shared many of those causes and principles with him. He was a close ally in working to honor America’s promises to our veterans, to end the suffering caused by domestic violence, and to ban asbestos.
While we are all hurt by Paul’s loss, I think if he could talk to us now, he would still urge us to ‘keep on marching and keep on fighting.’ So I pledge to keep working to ban asbestos, to fully fund the No Child Left Behind Act, and to enact the Paul Wellstone Mental Health Equitable Treatment Act, which for years Paul and Senator Domenici tirelessly worked to pass. This bill would end discrimination in insurance against people with mental illnesses, and it would strike another blow to the stigma of mental illness. I am proud to be an original cosponsor of this bill, and I can think of no tribute more fitting than making it law.”
Minnesotans and Americans elsewhere are celebrating the Wellstones’ lives tomorrow with Wellstone World Music Day. More information is available at Wellstone World Music Day