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article imageOp-Ed: West Virginia‎ Senator Robert C. Byrd dead at 92

By Kim I. Hartman     Jun 28, 2010 in World
Washington - It's with much sorrow that we report today the passing of Senator Robert C. Byrd. A son of West Virginia, Byrd devoted his life to the Mountain State. His enduring dedication to improving the lives of each person he represented will live on forever.
The family of U.S. Senator Robert C. Byrd, D-W.Va., tearfully announced the death of the longest serving member of Congress in U.S. history. He was 92. Byrd died peacefully early this morning at Inova Fairfax Hospital in Virginia.
Byrd became the longest-serving member of Congress in American history on June 12, 2006. He was the president pro tempore of the Senate and third in line to the president. On November 2006, he was elected to an unprecedented ninth full term in the Senate.
But it was on November 18, 2009 that Senator Byrd became the longest serving Member of Congress in the history of our great Republic, now having served more than 20,775 days.
He served 57 years in the Senate and House of Representatives, which spanned 12 presidencies and also cast more votes in Senate then anyone else in history, a total of 18,680.
He prided himself on working to create a better future for West Virginia and our nation. From economic development to transportation to education, he worked hard on behalf of the people of West Virginia to enhance their quality of life and protecting our rights as citizens of this country.
Robert Byrd was born Cornelius Calvin Sale Jr. on Nov. 20, 1917, in North Carolina. His mother passed away when he was baby. His father sent him to West Virginia's to live with an aunt and uncle when he was a year old. They eventually adopted him and renamed him Robert Carlyle Byrd.
Byrd grew up in Raleigh County West Virginia and attended Mark Twain High School. He graduated as valedictorian of his high school class in 1937. He met and married his high school sweetheart Erma Ora James. For nearly 69 years, the Byrd's were inseparable, traveling the hills and hollows of West Virginia and crossing the globe together. Mrs. Byrd passed away on March 25, 2006 after battling a long illness.
If his West Virginia values defined Senator Byrd, then the Constitution of the United States gave him a foundation to fight for liberty and freedom. Always close to his heart, the Constitution guided each step Senator Byrd took for the southern folks he diligently worked for.
From his humble beginnings to the halls of power in Washington, DC, Robert Byrd has never forgotten where he came from or where he was going. He was a statesman, a patriot, a defender of the Constitution, a proud son of West Virginia, a father, a loving husband and one of the most important leaders in America.
In the Senate, Robert Byrd worked for the people- for better jobs; health care that is affordable and close to home; a good future for our children and grandchildren. Each day in the Senate, Robert Byrd was focused on building a brighter future for the Mountain State.
His legislative history and accomplishments were was defined by his southern values. He fought tirelessly in defense of coal miners and the coal industry Byrd was committed to all of Appalachia and brought many government institutions into West Virginia and it's neighboring states.
At one time in history Byrd was part of a large effort stop the Civil Rights Act of 1964, he later realized the need for Civil Rights and voted consistently from the late 60s tillhis last vote in the Senate for equality for all people supporting civil rights on both the state and federal level.
Byrd, an avid fiddle player and author, wrote five books and recorded an album Mountain Fiddler.
Senator Byrd and Mrs. Byrd were blessed with a loving family, including two daughters, Mrs. Mohammad (Mona Byrd) Fatemi and Mrs. Jon (Marjorie Byrd) Moore; six grandchildren: Erik, Darius, and Fredrik Fatemi; Michael Moore (deceased), Mona Byrd Moore Pearson, and Mary Anne Moore Clarkson; five great granddaughters: Caroline Byrd Fatemi; Kathryn James Fatemi, and Anna Cristina Honora Fatemi; Emma James Clarkson and Hannah Byrd Clarkson; and two great grandsons, Michael Yoo Fatemi and James Matthew Fatemi.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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