[Congressional Record Volume 151, Number 86 (Friday, June 24, 2005)]
[Extensions of Remarks]
[Pages E1334-E1336]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]



                            HON. DAN BURTON

                               of indiana

                    in the house of representatives

                        Thursday, June 23, 2005

  Mr. BURTON of Indiana. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to congratulate and 
honor the 2005 Ellis Island Medal of Honor recipients. Presented 
annually by the National Ethnic Coalition of Organizations (NECO)--an 
umbrella group of more than 250 organizations that spans the spectrum 
of ethnic heritages, cultures and religions--the Ellis Island Medal of 
Honor commemorates and recognizes Americans of all ethnic backgrounds 
who have made significant contributions to our society. These medals 
have been aptly named for Ellis Island, as in so many ways Ellis Island 
is an enduring symbol of the immigrant roots and diversity that 
characterize our great Nation.
  America has always been a haven for legal immigrants from all over 
the world who come to our shores with one simple dream; forging a new 
life in a land of opportunity, liberty, and freedom--freedom from 
religious, economic, political or ethnic persecution. When the 
immigrant station at Ellis Island, New York, opened on January 1, 1892, 
it admitted 700 immigrants into the United States on just its first day 
of operation. By the time the center closed in 1954, 17-million 
immigrants had passed through its doors. The Ellis Island 
administration and staff, on average, processed up to 5,009 people per 
day. Many of these

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newcomers spoke little English, hardly had any money, and arrived with 
only the clothes on their backs. Despite those challenges, all were 
willing to risk their lives in exchange for the opportunity to build a 
better life for themselves and their families.
  The Ellis Island Medal of Honor was created in 1986 to honor those 
individuals who--through their own perseverance, sacrifice and 
success--continue to help keep America at the forefront of science, 
business, sports, entertainment, health care research, and myriad of 
other important issues. Representing a rainbow of ethnic backgrounds 
the 2005 recipients received their awards on May 14, 2005, in the 
shadow of the historic Great Hall, where the first footsteps towards a 
new life were taken by the millions of immigrants who entered the U.S. 
in the latter part of the nineteenth century.
  NECO Co-chairman Lee Iacocca, paying tribute to NECO's Founder and 
Chairman, William Denis Fugazy, said: ``Bill's most enduring legacy is 
the National Ethnic Coalition of Organizations and the Ellis Island 
Medals of Honor. He has been the driving force behind NECO since its 
inception. Under the NECO banner he has led the fight against 
intolerance and hate, and brought together disparate groups to work 
together and to celebrate the gifts that each ethnic group brings to 
keep America the land of freedom and opportunity for all. His life is 
testament to what one person with a big heart and boundless energy can 

  Nasser J. Kazeminy, Chairman of NECO's Executive Committee, said that 
the 2005 Ellis Island Medal of Honor recipients have enriched this 
country and have become role models for future generations. He noted 
that a posthumous Medal was given to Sergeant Christian P. Engeldrum, 
U.S. Army National Guard, who was killed in Iraq last November. 
Engeldrum, he said, was a heroic New York City firefighter, and also 
served in the Middle East during Operation Desert Storm. He was the 
first New York City employee to be killed in Iraq. His third child, a 
daughter, was born in June 2005.
  Since 1986, approximately 1,700 American citizens have received Ellis 
Island Medals of Honor, which continue to pay tribute to the ancestry 
groups that comprise America's unique cultural mosaic. In addition, 
NECO awards one International Ellis Island Medal of Honor each year. 
This year's international honoree was Richard Platt, Chairman of Visy 
Industries, Australia.
  Mr. Speaker, the 2005 Ellis Island recipients are without doubt a 
remarkable collection of individuals who have distinguished themselves 
as outstanding human beings and citizens of the United States. By 
honoring these outstanding individuals, we honor all who share their 
origins and we acknowledge the contributions they and other groups have 
made to America.
  I once again commend NECO and its Chairman, my good friend William 
Denis Fugazy, for honoring the accomplishments of these outstanding 
individuals and their tireless efforts to foster dialogue, build 
bridges between different ethnic groups, and promote unity and a sense 
of common purpose in our Nation. I respectfully ask my colleagues to 
join me in recognizing the good works of NECO, and congratulating all 
the 2005 Ellis Island Medal of Honor recipients, and I would ask that 
the names of all of this year's recipients be placed into the 
Congressional Record following my statement.

              2005 Ellis Island Medal of Honor Recipients

       Abu S. Alam M.D. P.A., Bangladesh; George Atanasoski, Vice 
     President, Microflex, Inc., Macedonian; Nishan Atinizian, 
     President, Fresh Pond Mall Ltd Partnership, Armenian; 
     Ambassador Elizabeth Frawley Bagley, Counsel & Sr. Advisor 
     Global Strategies, Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, Irish; Avi 
     Barbasch M.D., New York Oncology, Czech/Polish/Israeli; 
     Joseph L. Basralian Esq., Managing Partner, Winne, Banta, 
     Hetherington, Basralian & Kahn P.C, Armenian; Paul P. 
     Bernstein, Board Member, Seeds of Peace, Russian; Nicholas A. 
     Buoniconti, Founder, The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis, 
     Italian; Terry Burman, Chairman & CEO, Sterling Jewelers, 
     Inc., Russian/Polish; Hon. Elaine L. Chao, Secretary of 
     Labor, U.S. Dept. of Labor, Chinese; Dr. James S.C. Chao, 
     Chairman, Foremost Group, Chinese; Yeoung Bae Choi, Chairman, 
     The Korean American Association of Flushing, Korean; Dr. 
     Parveen Chopra, Chairperson, Comm. Of Human Rights--Nassau 
     County NY, Asian Indian; Joseph A. Cimino M.D., Professor & 
     Chairman, Community & Preventive Medicine, Italian; Vahakn N. 
     Dadrian, Director of Research, Zoryan Institute, Armenian; 
     Thomas E. Dreesen, Comedian, Italian/Irish; Victor J. Dzau, 
     MD, Chancellor for Health Affairs, Duke University Medical 
     Center, Chinese/Canadian; I. Steven Edelson, Managing Member, 
     Mercantile, Russian/Polish; Christian Engeldrum 
     (Posthumously), Sgt US Army, NYC Firefighter/Ladder 61; 
     Andrew Evangelatos, Attorney at Law, Hellenic; Dr. Haifa 
     Fakhouri, President & CEO, Arab American & Chaldean Council, 
     Jordanian; Stefan J. Fedor, Service Delivery Executive, Cisco 
     Systems, Inc., Czech/Hungarian; Anthony C. Ferreri, President 
     & CEO, Staten Island University Hospital, Italian; Dr. 
     Homayoun Firouztash, Partner, Centurion Holdings, LLC, 
     Iranian; John W. Galanis, Esq., Chairman, Galanis, Pollack, 
     Jacobs & Johnson, Hellenic; Judge John Gale, State of 
     Florida, Italian; Robert C. Gallo, M.D., Director, Institute 
     of Human Virology, Italian; Rickey M. Gelb, President, Gelb 
     Enterprises, Austrian/Russian; Lola Nashashibi Grace, 
     Philanthropist, Lebanese/Palestinian; Edgar Hagopian, 
     Chairman, Hagopian Family of Companies, Armenian; Alexander 
     W. Harris, CTC, Chairman, General Tours, Inc., Polish; Jay 
     Hershenson, Vice Chancellor, CUNY, Polish; Wilhelmina 
     Holliday, Commissioner (Ret), NYPD-MVPD, African American; 
     Soung Eun Hong, President/CEO, Rainer Group of Atlantic, USA, 
     Korean; Richard C. Iannuzzi, Vice President, NYSUT, Italian; 
     Muta M. Issa, MD, MBA, Assoc. Prof./Chief of Urology, Emory 
     Univ School of Med/Atlanta; VA Med Ctr, Iraqi; BG Jimmie C. 
     Jackson, Jr., Cmdr 305th Air Mobility Wing, McGuire Air Force 
     Base, Irish/Mexican; Eppaminondas G. Johnson, Founder, 
     Eppie's Race, Director Univ of Nevada-Reno Foundation, 
     Hellenic; Ranya Caren Kelly, Founder/Exec. Director, The 
     Redistribution Center Inc., English/German; Cecile 
     Keshishian, President (Ret), NH Medical Society Auxiliary, 
     Lebanese; Won Ho Kim, President, Warner, Inc., So. Korean; 
     Yohyun Kim, President, Ace Printing & Publishing, Korean; 
     Theodore A. Laliotis, President, Laliotis & Associates, 
     Hellenic; Dr. Henry C. Lee, Chief Emeritus, CT Forensic 
     Science Laboratory, Chinese; Susan Levit M.D., F.A.C.P., 
     President & Medical Director, Levit Medical Arts Pavilion, 
     Russian/Israeli; Boris Lipkin, President & CEO, Therma-Wave, 
     Ukrainian; Joseph Macnow, Executive VP & CFO, Vornado Realty 
     Trust, Russian/Polish; LTG Robert Magnus, Deputy Commandant, 
     US Marine Corps, English/Polish; Ranjan Manoranjan, Chairman 
     & CFO, 3SG Corporation, Sri Lanka; Aris Mardirossian, 
     President, Technology Patents LLC, Armenian; Penny Marshall, 
     Director & Producer, Italian/German/Welsh; Bonnie McElveen-
     Hunter, Former Ambassador, Chairman, Board of Gov. / American 
     Red Cross, President, Pace Communications, Scottish/Irish; 
     Aaron David Miller, President, Seeds of Peace, Russian/
     Polish; Benjamin E. Montoya, CEO, Smart Systems Technologies, 
     Inc., Mexican; Edward D. Mullins, President, NYPD Sergeants 
     Benevelent Association, Irish/Spanish; John V. Murphy, 
     Chairman President & CEO, Oppenheimer Funds Inc., Irish; 
     Francesco Musorrafiti, Chairman & CEO, Engineering & 
     Professional Serv. Inc, Italian; Firouz M. Naderi, Associate 
     Director, Programs, Project Formulation & Strategy, Jet 
     Propulsion Laboratory, Iranian; John S. Najarian, MD, 
     Professor of Surgery, University of Minnesota, Armenian; John 
     M. Nasseff, Community Leader & Philanthropist, Lebanese; 
     Maria Neira, Vice President, NYSUT, Puerto Rican; Peter 
     Nikiteas, Community Leader, Hellenic; James J. O'Connor, 
     Chairman & CEO (Ret), UNICOM Corp & Commonwealth Edison, 
     Irish; Michael D. O'Halleran, Chairman & CEO, Aon 
     Corporation, Irish; Harris J. Pappas, President, Pappas 
     Restaurant, Inc., Hellenic; Sudhir Parikh M.D., Center for 
     Asthma and Allergies, Asian Indian; Peter P. Parthenis, CEO, 
     Grecian Delight Foods, Inc., Hellenic; Martin R. Pollner, 
     Senior Partner, Loeb & Loeb LLP, Polish/Hungarian; Rev. 
     Peter A. Popaj, Our Lady of Shkodra RC Church, Albanian; 
     Richard Pratt, AC, International Recipient, President, 
     Visey Communications, Polish; Kassandra L. Romas, Managing 
     Director, Bouras Properties, LLC, Hellenic; Joseph R. 
     Rosetti, President, Safir Rosetti, Italian; BG Curtis M. 
     Scaparrotti, Commandant, US Military Academy at West 
     Point, Italian; Stephen M. Schuck, Chairman, The Schuck 
     Corp., Russian/German; H.R. Shah, Chairman & CEO, TV Asia 
     & Krauszer's, Asian Indian; M. Morris Shirazipour, CEO, 
     Aero Toy Store, Israeli/Iranian/Canadian; Barbara Simmons, 
     Department of Veterans Affairs, African American; Barry 
     Ivan Slotnick, Attorney at Law, Buchanan Ingersoll PC, 
     Polish; Edward M. Snider, Chairman, Comcast-Spectacar, 
     Russian/Polish; Mona So, Chairperson, Chinese Import 
     Association of America, Chinese; Mercedes H. Spotts, Esq., 
     Polish; Thomas Stankovich, Senior VP & CFO, MP 
     Biomedicals, Yugoslavian; John L. Starks, Founder & 
     President, The John Starks Foundation, American Indian; 
     Gwynn T. Swinson, Secretary of Administration, NC Dept. of 
     Administration, African/Caribbean/European; Abdul Jamil 
     Tajik, M.D., Cardiovascular Diseases & Internal Medicine--
     Mayo Clinic, Pakistani; Meilin Tan, Founder & President, 
     Small Business Owners of Greater New York, Chinese; James 
     Thomas, President & CPA, Thomas Auto Motor Group, 
     Hellenic; George Tomov, President, Folk Dance Foundation, 
     Macedonian Arts Council, Macedonian; Angelo Vivolo, 
     Community Leader, Italian; Dionysios Vlachos, President, 
     Allboro Waterproofing Corp., Hellenic; Frank Volpicella, 
     Vice President, United Federation of Teachers, Italian; 
     Robert Weisberg, Deputy Chief of Mission, American Embassy 
     Helsinki, Russian/Rumanian/ Austrian; Thomas V. Whelan, 
     Chairman &CEO, Concepts International, Irish; Capt. Glenn 
     A. Wiltshire, Cmdr. of Coast Guard Activities NY, United 
     States Coast Guard, English/Polish; James B. Zafiros, Vice 
     President (Ret), NBC Televsion, Hellenic/Turkish; Larry A.

[[Page E1336]]

     Zavadil, President & CEO, American Solutions For Business,