Honors Pacquiao’s achievements on Senate Floor
February 15, 2011
Washington, D.C. – Nevada Senator Harry Reid today welcomed his friend and Filipino Congressman Manny Pacquiao to Washington. Reid honored Pacquiaos’s achievements in public service and boxing on the Senate Floor. Following his remarks on the Senate floor, Reid hosted a press conference with Pacquiao where they exchanged national flags.
Below are Reid’s prepared remarks.
“I want to recognize briefly a true friend of Nevada’s from the other side of the world, Manny Pacquiao. He is in Washington today. Every time I leave a meeting with him, I come away more impressed.
“Though those of us who serve here are close with our colleagues in the United States Congress – and some even achieve celebrity status inside the Beltway’s bubble – few of our names and faces are recognizable beyond our shores.
“Senator Ted Kennedy was an exception to that rule, with fame he earned through the decades he and his family dedicated to public service. So, too, was Senator Clinton – and in her current role as Secretary of State, even more of the world recognizes and respects her. Senator John Glenn became a global hero after he orbited the globe.
“But no one in our national legislature, or any other, comes close to the level of worldwide fame of the Congressman from the southern tip of the Philippines, Manny Pacquiao.
“The bond between the Philippines and the United States is a deep and strong one. During World War II, when the Pacific nation was a commonwealth of this country, brave and patriotic Filipino troops served under the American flag. With the leadership of Senator Dan Inouye, who acted so heroically in that war, we fought to finally give those troops the well-deserved and long-overdue pensions they earned.
“Congressman Pacquiao, of course, is also boxer who holds many other titles beyond that of lawmaker. He holds the title of super welterweight world champion in both the World Boxing Council and World Boxing Organization.
“He’s an ambitious young man with a closet full of championship belts and the start of a promising political career already under his belt. I’m most gratified, as I mentioned, that he is a true friend of Nevada’s, where his sport is a major player in our economic arena. And he is someone I truly admire.
“Manny Pacquiao and I come from opposite sides of the globe – but in our hearts, we really come from the same place. Manny grew up with nothing. He was just a kid when he had to leave his home and live on the streets. When I was growing up in Searchlight, my family had little more than each other.
“When Manny was a young man, he stepped into a ring for the first time, and it changed his life. Boxing changed my life too – it tough me how to fight fair. And it’s where I met my best friend, Mike O’Callaghan, who was my boxing coach and my high school history teacher. Later, he would become the beloved Governor of Nevada along whom I served as lieutenant governor.
“Manny is a fighter. There is nearly unanimous agreement that he is the best pound-for-pound fighter on the planet. But he knows it’s not enough just to fight for yourself, or to be a world champion. You have to be a champion for others.
“He is a friend of Nevada’s, a friend of America’s, and – I’m proud to say – a friend of mine.”
RenoBruce R. Thompson
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