April 14, 2008
Washington, DC—Nevada Senator Harry Reid made the following statement today on the floor of the U.S. Senate in memory of U.S. Army Sergeant Timothy M. Smith, who was killed in Iraq last Monday:
"Amidst a great war that threatened to tear apart the fabric of our nation, Abraham Lincoln gazed upon a battlefield and was moved to say: 'My dream is of a place and a time where America will once again be seen as the last best hope of earth.'
"On Monday, April 7th, U.S. Army Sergeant Timothy M. Smith gave his life in pursuit of that dream. Sergeant Smith was 25 years old. While serving in Iraq with the 4th Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 10th Mountain Division, Fort Polk, Louisiana, Sergeant Smith was killed when an improvised explosive device detonated near the armored vehicle in which he was riding with Sergeant Brandon Lords.
"Sergeant Smith and Sergeant Lords were brothers in arms, and they had made a pact – if one was lost in combat, the other would escort his body home. Sergeant Lords will honor that promise by accompanying his fallen comrade's body to South Lake Tahoe, where he will be received by his beloved family and friends before he is laid to rest. Both Sergeant Smith and Sergeant Lords are emblematic of the courageous young men and women who serve in the United States military.
"Words are certainly insufficient to fully express our gratitude for their valor. Our hearts and prayers are with Tim's family. I spoke with Tim's mother, Patti, and father, Michael, on Friday to express my sympathies. Then I spoke with his brother, Tommy, and his sister, Jackie. I told Tommy and Jackie that I had some understanding of their pain, having lost my own brother years ago. Our hearts are also with Tim's wife, Shayna, and their son, Riley, and with all the friends and family whose hearts are broken.
"Tim graduated in 2001 from South Tahoe High School and joined the Army in April 2004. He is remembered by all as having a special sense of humor, for making people laugh and for his warmth. He was stubborn, even from a young age. He was also determined, courageous and caring.
"Tim married Shayna last Fourth of July. Their son, Riley, must now grow up to be a man without a father, but with the gift of knowing that his father was a hero – a real-life American hero – who gave his life so that others might be safe.
"Honoring Sergeant Timothy Smith here on the floor of the United States Senate is no more than a modest tribute to his sacrifice. I hope it is some small comfort to those his life and courage touched that the United States Senate and the American people share in the pain of their grief and the burden of their sacrifice.
"In Sergeant Timothy Smith's memory, as I told his parents and his brother and sister, we pray that every man and woman serving in Iraq will come home safe and soon."
RenoBruce R. Thompson
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