[Congressional Record Volume 160, Number 131 (Monday, September 15, 2014)]
[Extensions of Remarks]
[Page E1406]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]

                        HONORING LAWRENCE BROOKS


                        HON. CEDRIC L. RICHMOND

                              of louisiana

                    in the house of representatives

                       Monday, September 15, 2014

  Mr. RICHMOND. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to honor Mr. Lawrence 
Nathaniel Brooks, Sr. Mr. Brooks, a World War II veteran and Louisiana 
resident, celebrated his 105th birthday on September 12, 2014.
   Mr. Brooks was born in 1909 in Norwood, Louisiana. He joined the 
United States Army in 1940 and did basic training at Camp Shelby in 
Hattiesburg, Mississippi. Serving our country was a family legacy for 
Mr. Brooks. He had three uncles who fought in World War I, and his 
brother, Chester, was a member of the United States Coast Guard.
   The bombing of Pearl Harbor would change Mr. Brooks' life forever. 
Shortly thereafter he was called to duty. He served in the 
predominantly African-American 91st Engineer Battalion which was 
stationed in New Guinea and then the Philippines during World War II. 
He served three white officers in his battalion, and his daily routine 
included cleaning the officers' sheets, shining their shoes, making 
sure their uniforms were clean, and accomplishing any task these 
officers asked of him. Brooks attained the rank of Private 1st Class 
during the war. During his service, he had two alarming encounters. 
While he was stationed in New Guinea, the Japanese bombed the base 
where he was located. Additionally, Mr. Brooks was on a C-47 going from 
Australia to New Guinea, transporting a load of barbed wire when one of 
the engines went out. The crew had to work quickly to lighten up the 
load in order to make the plane light enough to continue on.
   A true New Orleanian, even Hurricane Katrina couldn't keep Mr. 
Brooks away from the city he loves for too long. A few days after the 
levees failed and the city flooded, Mr. Brooks moved to Los Angeles. 
However, he returned to New Orleans a little more than a year later.
   Mr. Brooks' most enduring legacy is his engagement and involvement 
with his community in New Orleans. He is widely known as a pillar of 
his community and regularly volunteers at his church, St. Luke's.
   Mr. Brooks was married to the late Leona B. Brooks, and he is a 
father of five, grandfather of thirteen, great-grandfather of 19, and 
great-great grandfather of 2, and he is loved by even more. He is known 
for his love of dance, and has committed to enjoying and celebrating 
   The National World War II Museum, which I proudly represent, 
recently hosted a celebration for Mr. Brooks. During the celebration, 
he was honored by the Museum, the Veterans' Administration, and a host 
of national and local organizations. It is my honor to introduce Mr. 
Brooks to the country. I invite everyone to join me in congratulating 
Mr. Lawrence Brooks on a life well-lived, and wishing him the best.