(Extensions of Remarks - January 21, 2004)

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[Extensions of Remarks]
[Pages E25-E26]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office []



                         HON. MARTIN T. MEEHAN

                            of massachusetts

                    in the house of representatives

                      Wednesday, January 21, 2004

  Mr. MEEHAN. Mr. Speaker, I was saddened to learn of the death of 
former Congressman Nicholas Mavroules, a dedicated public servant, 
leader, and family man.
  At the funeral service for Congressman Mavroules on December 30, 
2003, at St. Vasilios Greek Orthodox Church in Peabody, Massachusetts, 
Mr. deLeon delivered an eloquent tribute to Congressman Mavroules that 
touched me and all others who were present. He described the lifelong 
dedication that Congressman Mavroules gave to his beloved family, 
friends, colleagues, and constituents in Massachusetts, and his devoted 
service to this country.
  Rudy deLeon's touching eulogy to Congressman Mavroules should be of 
interest to all of us. I ask that it be submitted to the Record.
       His Eminence, Metropolitan Methodios; Current and former 
     Members of the Massachusetts Congressional Delegation: 
     Congressman Tierney, Congressman Neal, Congressman Meehan, 
     former Congressman Harrington--Then as now, one of the most 
     capable delegations in the Congress.
       On behalf of the family of Nicholas Mavroules--his wife of 
     53 years, Mary--his daughters Debbie, Gail and Brenda and 
     their families--and the other family, friends, colleagues and 
     constituents--I would like to thank you for remembering and 
     honoring a remarkable man. A man of family; a man of 
     community; and, a man of public service.
       Nick began his political career in the late 1950's, and I 
     once asked--did you ever meet John F. Kennedy.
       He responded, ``yes, Senator John F. Kennedy.''
       His daughter--very young daughter Gail--was with him. Her 
     response, ``Dad, that man should run for Mayor of Peabody.''
       In 1978, Nick Mavroules would be elected to the U.S. House 
     of Representatives, serving the 6th Congressional District of 
     Massachusetts for 14 years.
       But it was in the 1980's, serving on the Armed Services 
     Committee, where Nick would have his greatest impact.
       The decade began with the inauguration of Ronald Reagan as 
     the 40th President of the United States. It ended when the 
     Berlin Wall came down in 1989, followed by the dissolution of 
     the Soviet Union in 1991--ending communist rule in Russia.
       In between was one incredible debate--and, of course--Nick 
     Mavroules was right in the center. Along the way there were 
     discussions of human rights in Central America, nuclear 
     disarmament, Pentagon accountability, and the morale and 
     welfare of U.S. troops.
       In the course of his service, he would join and lead the 
     debate--both in the Nation's Capital and on the North Shore--
     about the direction and course of our nation. The debate 
     would take Nick to many places:
       1981: Visit with U.S. forces in Germany.
       1982: Northern Ireland.
       1983: Two trips to Beirut, Lebanon. The first to spend July 
     4th with the troops; the second to lead an Armed Services 
     Committee investigative team after 283 U.S. Marines were 
     killed in a terrorist bombing during a peacekeeping mission 
     at the Beirut International Airport. In the Committee's final 
     report of December 1983, Nick would write, ``A war of 
     terrorism has begun and is likely to continue for the 
     foreseeable future.''
       1985: A session with U.S. negotiators in Geneva--center of 
     talks with the Soviet Union on nuclear weapons. He would meet 
     with President Reagan in the Oval Office after this trip.
       1986: San Salvador, El Salvador. A meeting with the 
     Jesuit's at the University of Central America--priests would 
     later be assassinated in their rectory.

[[Page E26]]

       1987: Baghdad, Iraq; Kuwait City; Taif, Saudi Arabia: An 
     inspection delegation to review the security of U.S. forces 
     in the Persian Gulf during the Iran-Iraq war. Most notable 
     was a vigorous session in Baghdad with the Foreign Minister 
     of Iraq, Tariq Aziz, on Iraq's use of chemical weapons in its 
     war with Iran.
       1988: As an emissary of the U.S. State Department, Nick 
     engaged in a private dialogue with Greek Prime Minister 
     Andreas Papandreou, providing a framework that produced the 
     current U.S.-Greece agreement on military bases.
       1989: Appointment to the House Select Committee on 
     Intelligence, performing oversight of the CIA and other 
     elements of the intelligence community. Nick's input: to 
     require that intelligence be accessible to the U.S. forces 
     deployed and at risk.
       During this time, he was also engaged in the significant 
     legislative work on national security that included:
       The 1986 Defense Reorganization--the Goldwater-Nichols 
     Act--that fundamentally restructured military command and 
     control--so that troops serving in high-threat combat and 
     peacekeeping missions--would have a responsive and dynamic 
     military chain of command.
       Implementation of the Packard Commission recommendations to 
     reform Pentagon acquisition practices.
       Legislation that limited the deployment of nuclear 
     ballistic missiles, and ensuring that missile defense 
     technology be treaty compliant.
       Funding for the Navy's F-18 fighter, powered by GE engines 
     from Lynn. Twenty years later the F-18 remains as the 
     backbone of Naval Aviation;
       And, the Small Disadvantaged Business Act that allowed more 
     American citizens to compete in government contracting.
       Throughout his service in Congress, Nick would earn the 
     respect and trust of his colleagues. From Massachusetts: 
     Senators Ted Kennedy, Paul Tsongas and John Kerry, Speaker 
     Tip O'Neill, Joe Moakley, Ed Markey and Jim Shannon, Barney 
     Frank and Joe Kennedy. And other Members of Congress, 
     including Sam Nunn, Barry Goldwater, John Glenn, Les Aspin, 
     Sam Stratton, Bill Nichols and Beverly Byron. His colleagues 
     in Congress would conclude this about Nick Mavroules: He was 
     always a gentleman. He was always well prepared. And, he 
     always kept his word.
       But, no matter the challenge in Congress, the highlight of 
     each week would be Nick's return home to Mary and the girls. 
     From his daughters and grandchildren came these comments:
       Grandson Michael: He told me stories of himself in my place 
     to lift my spirit; He never said, ``No, Forget it, don't 
     bother'' or anything to that degree when I told him about my 
     goals in my life I wish to go by; Any time I ever spent with 
     him was always a good time no matter what the situation or 
     event was; You were always there for me no matter what the 
     situation was. The worst thing in my life was to see you go. 
     I love you with all my heart and I always will.
       Grandson Matthew: Taking me on my daily paper route. 
     Calling me to make sure that I was ready to be picked up. You 
     would say, ``Can you believe I went from a Congressman to a 
     paper boy. I went from being chauffeured to chauffeuring. 
     Telling me never to forget our roots or where you came from.
       Son-in-law Wayne: You weren't just a husband, dad or 
     grandfather you were a best friend. You really had to feel 
     very special to be Nick's friend. To Kristen and Nicholas, 
     you just weren't a Papou but more likely considered a dad to 
     them. Stories of baseball and basketball when you played but 
     as he told his stories, he told the grandchildren not to do 
     what he did. When he watched the Red Sox and Patriots blow a 
     game was so comical. If they pulled it out and won he would 
     say ``there's not a better team. Aren't they great!''
       Grandson Jon: ``No bird soars too high, if it soars with 
     its own wings''--This could mean so many different things to 
     many different people but it only means one thing when it 
     comes to my mind. Everything that my grandfather taught and 
     showed me in my life comes down to one thing. You will be 
     most successful in life if you do things on your own and with 
     some guidance of people who are close to you. Words cannot 
     express how much love I will continue to have for my 
     grandfather and how proud I am to say that my grandfather was 
     Nicholas Mavroules.
       Daughter Gail: Calling the boys over to your house when 
     your clicker didn't work, remote controls, setting up your 
     phone, TV, voice mail, teaching you all your buttons in your 
     new car, and how proud you were of them because they had 
     the knowledge of technology. How you would call us 
     everyday from D.C. to check on us and how you would know 
     from the tone of our voices if we were fine or not. You 
     knew us like books. Warning the Capital Security and House 
     Members when your grandchildren came to visit. How they 
     would run through the halls going into other members, 
     offices until they found you. Discussing at dinner and 
     everyone taking turns including you and Ma. What was the 
     best and worst part of everyone's day. How you loved that. 
     I will forever miss your kindness, your smile, the warmth 
     and softness of your hands, your guidance, loyalty, your 
     love and affection, support but most of all being our 
     champion and tower of strength. You taught us values to 
     live by. In our lives you were bigger than life, you made 
     us so proud and we will always live in your extraordinary 
     legacy. You're our mentor and now our guardian angel. I 
     love and thank you with all of my heart which you took a 
     piece of with you and hope it lives within you as your 
     soul will with me.
       Daughter Brenda: I will always treasure these special times 
     we shared. There wasn't anything that we didn't discuss. You 
     always said the right things. You were my dad, hero, and 
     friend. God needed an angel in heaven, and he took you, but 
     he also took a special part of me. I wish everyone had the 
     opportunity to be blessed with two beautiful parents like I 
     was. I will miss you buddy and will love you always.
       Daughter Debbie: You were my dad and my tower of strength. 
     When I was weak you were my strength. You were my sports 
     buddy every week during a Pats game or a Red Sox game, and if 
     we weren't watching them together I would be on the phone 
     with you at least five times. I started every morning by 
     hearing you answer the phone. ``Hello Deb, what are you doing 
     Dad? Having coffee and toast and reading the papers by 
     starting with the sports section first.'' You were a father 
     to my children who adored you. You fought tooth and nail for 
     us and always said no one will ever abuse you and the kids 
     again. What a price you paid for our freedom. That's what 
     Nick Mavroules was all about. The kindest, most caring, and 
     loving individual who never forgot where he came from. That's 
     my dad, our dad. Even from a sick hospital bed he always said 
     take care of your mother and take care of the kids and each 
     other and always stay together as one. Thank you for your 
     endless love and family values.
       Son in Law Phil: When I first met your daughter you did not 
     trust me. Who was this ``Irish guy taking out my daughter.'' 
     Our first date, Brenda had to be home by ten o'clock PM until 
     you trusted me with your little girl. Once I was ``cleared'' 
     you welcomed me with open arms.
       On my first trip to Washington I was in awe of how many of 
     the police officers, wait staff and regular people knew Nick 
     and he knew them. He always treated them with the same 
     respect as he did the Head of State. Nick you were a ``class 
       Nick, I remember the birth of David. Once again you were 
     sharing your life for others. I know when you called from the 
     Navy ship you were so proud. David and you developed a very 
     special relationship. David idolized you and relished the 
     opportunity to spend time with ``Pap.'' Alexis, what can I 
     say. She is the only one who could convince the former 
     Chairman of the Armed Services' Intelligence Committee to 
     be a student who needed to complete his ``dot to dot'' 
     assignment. Both David and Alexis loved their Papou. You 
     were their hero and both of them will truly miss you.
       Nick, I thank you for the opportunity to marry your 
     daughter. I knew from the start that I could never be the 
     number one man in Brenda's life. That spot was reserved for 
     you. I can only try to live up to your standards. I will try 
     my best to take care of your daughter and grandchildren.
       Granddaughter Alexis: Papou was Alexis's favorite student. 
     He was her ``dot to dot'' champ. Alexis told Papou when he 
     came home from the hospital she would allow him to be the 
     principal. Alexis and Papou had a special code, on every hour 
     Alexis had to give Papou a kiss. Papou these kisses will 
     never stop. When you feel tiny lips on your cheek, it's me 
     still loving you. You will always live on in my heart Papou. 
     I love you.
       Grandson David: You helped me and you guided me through 
     good and bad. I remember when I had social studies homework 
     and it was about the government. I would call Papou and ask 
     him and he would help me. We used to hang out together, talk 
     about his past, talk about the economy, and why things 
     happen. I loved spending time together and you don't know how 
     much I loved it. You were my best buddy and my pal. I will 
     miss you and I will cherish you forever and ever. I love you 
       Nicholas Mavroules left us on Christmas morning. We will 
     remember him. And, we will miss him. But, we can all find 
     consolation in an angel's Christmas morning blessing found in 
     the Gospel of Luke:
       ``Glory to God in the highest,
       And on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.''
       With God's blessing, we say peace to our friend Nick