Congressman Faleomavaega announced today that he will deeply miss Chairman Tom Lantos of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs who passed away this morning at Bethesda Naval Medical Center after being diagnosed earlier this year with cancer of the esophagus.
“Congressman Lantos and I served together since the time I first came to Congress and I am deeply saddened by his passing,” Faleomavaega said. “I will miss Tom’s leadership, guidance, goodness, and friendship.”
“Tom has been an advocate and voice for the poor, the suffering, and the disadvantaged. With never-ending commitment and courage, he has worn out his life in trying to make the world a better place and, today, the world has lost a champion.”
“When he didn’t have to, Tom co-founded the Congressional Human Rights Caucus to defend the rights of victims of political, religious, ethnic and racial persecution, the world over. From his example, I was mentored. As a result of his influence, Capitol Hill was changed.”
“While we mourn his loss, I have every confidence that Tom will be welcomed home by those on the other side who have also been touched by his selfless service. I am also confident that Tom’s work will long be remembered.”
“Not too long ago, Tom said that his whole life had been a preparation to Chair the House Committee on Foreign Affairs. I agreed with him and whole-heartedly supported his Chairmanship. Tom was the only survivor of the Holocaust to serve in the U.S. Congress and, in my opinion, this made him uniquely qualified to serve in a way that no other Chairman of the Foreign Affairs’ Committee has or ever could serve. Though his time as Chairman ended much too soon, his impact and influence is far-reaching.”
“I wish Tom had stayed with us longer. He was a good man and I am a better man for having known him. With deepest sorrow I now express my condolences to his wife, Annette, to their children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. But, like his family, I know that Tom still lives and, so, until we meet again, I wish him Godspeed, and thank him for gifting us with the remarkable legacy he has left behind,” Faleomavaega concluded.