February 11, 2010

Pennsylvania Alliance for Retired Americans Mourns the Loss of Congressman Murtha

For Immediate Release

February 11th, 2009

Pennsylvania Alliance for Retired Americans Mourns the Loss of Congressman Murtha


The Pennsylvania Alliance for Retired Americans is saddened to mark the passing of a champion for older Americans, long-serving Western Pennsylvania Congressman Jack Murtha.  In addition to working tirelessly as an advocate for Veterans, working people and all who needed his help, Congressman Murtha was a reliable defender of senior citizens.  His support for strong Social Security and Medicare will be sorely missed as these programs continue to endure relentless attacks.

Since the Alliance for Retired Americans was founded in 2001, Congressman Murtha compiled an exemplary 97% pro-retiree voting record.  But Congressman Murtha was more than the sum-total of his votes.  He was an icon to the economically struggling communities who elected him to be their voice in Congress.  His positive impact on the thousands upon thousands of lives he touched is immeasurable.  In addition to his stature here in Pennsylvania, he rose to become one of the most respected voices on military and foreign policy in Congress.

PARA President Jean Friday had this to say upon Congressman Murtha’s passing:

“The unexpected death of Congressman John P. Murtha has shocked our nation, but especially Southwestern PA, which he so ably represented for 36 years.  A Vietnam veteran, he defended our troops and all military veterans, spoke out against the Iraq War and understood the importance of a strong national defense.  Congressman Murtha established much of his legacy in Johnstown, PA, where his home office was located.  In 1977, Johnstown experienced a devastating flood and the Congressman personally directed aid to the stricken area and secured emergency funding for the entire area.  In the1980s, Johnstown also suffered from the loss of jobs thru de-industrialization, but the Congressman was instrumental in bringing new industry to the area such as the manufacturing of windmill turbines.”

“The people of this area will always remember his advocacy for working people and his steadfast support of worker’s rights, veterans benefits, good health care, family values and the importance of preserving Social Security and Medicare for our present and future generations.  We shall miss him and we send our deepest sympathy to his wife and family.”



The Alliance for Retired Americans, led by President Jean Friday, a retired Steelworker from Belle Vernon, Westmoreland County; has over 300,000 members and 140 affiliated organizations in Pennsylvania.  For more information about our organization, visit http://www.pennretiredamericans.org/


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