[Congressional Record Volume 152, Number 100 (Wednesday, July 26, 2006)]
[Extensions of Remarks]
[Page E1534]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]



                            HON. DAN BURTON

                               of indiana

                    in the house of representatives

                        Wednesday, July 26, 2006

  Mr. BURTON of Indiana. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to congratulate the 
2006 recipients of the Ellis Island Medal of Honor. This medal--created 
in 1986--aptly named for Ellis Island, an enduring symbol of the 
diversity that characterizes our great Nation, commemorates and 
recognizes Americans of all ethnic backgrounds who have made 
significant contributions through their own perseverance and sacrifice 
to our society and culture. 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.
  The Ellis Island Medal of Honor is presented annually by the National 
Ethnic Coalition of Organizations (NECO), representing more than 250 
organizations that span the spectrum of ethnic heritages, cultures and 
religions. Since 1986, approximately 1,700 American citizens have 
received Ellis Island Medals of Honor, including six American 
Presidents, several United States Senators, Congressmen, Nobel 
Laureates, outstanding athletes, artists, clergy, and military leaders. 
Collectively they represent a remarkable fraternity of individuals who 
have distinguished themselves as outstanding human beings and exemplary 
citizens of the United States. In addition, NECO awards one 
International Ellis Island Medal of Honor each year. This year's 
international honoree was Martin J. Sullivan, President and Chief 
Executive Officer of American International Group, Inc. Mr. Sullivan is 
  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 5,000 people per 
day. Many of these newcomers had little or no knowledge of English, 
hardly any money, and many arrived with only the clothes on their 
backs. They arrived risking their lives in exchange for freedom and a 
better way of life.
  I, once again, commend NECO and its Board of Directors headed by my 
good friend, Nasser J. Kazeminy, for honoring these truly outstanding 
individuals for their tireless efforts to foster dialogue and build 
bridges between different ethnic groups, as well as promote unity and a 
sense of common purpose in our Nation. As Rosemarie Taglione, Executive 
Director of NECO, so eloquently said in connection with this year's 
awards ceremony: ``NECO's message of tolerance and harmony among 
diverse ethnic groups is, perhaps, even more important today than it 
was 20 years ago.''
  Mr. Speaker, I ask all of my colleagues to join me in recognizing the 
good works of NECO, and congratulating all of the 2006 recipients of 
the Ellis Island Medals of Honor.
  Elizabeth Agbabian, Cesar Baez, Vartkes Barsam, Harry E. Bovay, Jr., 
Dawn Bryan, Fredy Bush, Joseph R. Calabrese, M.D., Tykye Camaras, 
Charles Carey, Edmund N. Carpenter II, Josip Cermin, Vahan Chamlian, 
Yong Jin Chang, George Chimples, Benjamin B. Choi, Esq., Dr. Deepak 
Chopra, Maxine Chou, Richard Corkery, Frank Corvino, Rita Cosby, John 
R. Costantino, Robert E. Courtney, Esq., Ed Cox, Long Deng, Vlade 
Divac, Kathleen M. Donahue, Ali Ebrahimi, George Elias Jr., Nijad 
Fares, BG Margrit M. Farmer, Lu-Jean Feng, MD, Siegfried Fischbacher, 
Col. David Fitzgerald, Aldo G. Frustaci, Esq., Fred Grapstein, C. 
Joseph Grignaffini, Sang-Ki Han, William Hanna, Richard Hayden, Roy 
Horn, Mori Hosseini, Jirair S. Hovnanian, Irwin Jacobs, Chief Joanne 
Jaffe, Thomas F. Kane, Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, Charles Evans 
Kilbourne III, Kwang Sung Kim, Peter Koo, Nat LaCour, Shau-wai Lam, 
Dean Lampros, Thomas D. Lee, Hon. John Lehman, George G. Makris, 
Roberta Mann, Hon. Rafi Manoukian, Col. Rick Martin, Ronald Martino, 
Jamie Masada, Fariborz Maseeh, Martin G. McGuinn, Dr. Navin C. Mehta, 
Jose Mejia, Edward Miller, Hamid Moghadam, VADM Kevin J. Moran, Dr. 
Navin Nanda, Luke Nasta, Frank Newell, MD, William C. Norris, Antranig 
M. Ouzoonian, Dinesh Patel, Hon. Tim Pawlenty, RADM David Pekoske, Fred 
Pezeshkan, Mark Pigott, Robert Price, Hon. Thomas Ridge, Imelda 
Roberts, Col. Angela Salinas, Frank Sciame, Niranjan Shah, John Shall, 
Thomas Nunziato Shannon, Jr., Dr. Hosein Shokouh-Amiri, Dr. Grace Shu, 
Dr. William T. Smith, Bruce A. Smith, Lewis T. Smoak Esq., Klaus-Peter 
Statz, Mitchell Steinhause, Michael Stern, Martin J. Sullivan, Ramon M. 
Tallaj, MD, Dr. William Tansey III, Michael Tong, Rev. Nicholas 
Triantafilou, Lester Trilla, Manny Villafana, and Walter Wang.