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Churchill Returns to the Capitol

Congress’s tribute to the wartime leader.

Nov 11, 2013, Vol. 19, No. 09 • By FRED BARNES
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Pelosi said it was “quite emotional” to hear an audio of a portion of Churchill’s December 1941 address that was played at the dedication. “I have a picture in my office I’ve had for 26 years both in my leadership office—wherever that may be—and in my personal office of Sir Winston making that speech. He’s addressing the joint meeting of Congress, and my father is in that picture as a member of Congress at the time.”

Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell was more pointed and not at all self-referential. “One of his greatest preoccupations throughout his very long life was .  .  . us,” he said. He quoted Churchill’s words “just before leaving 10 Downing Street for the very last time. .  .  . He turned to various noncabinet officials that he had summoned to see him off and told them simply, ‘Never be separated from the Americans.’ ”

To Churchill scholar Michael Makovsky, the Capitol event “illustrated how we are living in an un-Churchillian age, and how we need a leader to rise above what Churchill called in 1931 a ‘disease of the will’  and advance the interests of national and global security as well as Western ideals. Today that means preventing a nuclear Iran at all costs, the most pressing security threat facing the United States and our allies. Our leaders who participated in the event should imbibe what Churchill stood for.”

Were they to, another rebuke of Obama would surely follow.

Fred Barnes is an executive editor at The Weekly Standard.

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