Today, Senator Thad Cochran of Mississippi was praised by his Senate colleagues for his long, devoted service to this nation. Senator Cochran had previously announced his retirement from the United States Senate that will be effective April 1, 2018.
Senator Cochran honorably served Mississippi in the United States Senate and the House of Representatives for 46 years. Throughout that period, he held many leadership posts including serving as the Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee and the Senate Agriculture Committee. Throughout his entire life, in his posts as an Eagle Scout, Naval Officer, or Statesman, Thad Cochran always stepped up to serve others.
On the Senate floor, many of his colleagues gave their final public tributes. Some of the resounding remarks and repeated descriptions included describing him as the quiet persuader, gentile southerner, the man with unquestionable honor and integrity and the man that was always true to his word.
Let us reflect on the character and decency of this fine man. His dignity and moral fiber are the qualities that this nation longs for in its leaders and are the same virtues we attempt to instill in our children.
Throughout his public service, he was and continues to be a champion for rural America. His work and vision have benefited the quality of life for millions of rural Americans even though most will not know his name nor the positions he held, or even how they benefitted. No man has ever practiced the art of politics and public policy to benefit so many others without regard for personal recognition than Senator Thad Cochran.
As a national organization we can testify that thousands of rural communities and millions of individuals across this nation now have access to safe, clean and affordable water directly from his efforts for 46 years.
In a time when many Americans have doubts and low opinions of Congress, let us hope that more elected officials now and in the future, will follow the example that Senator Thad Cochran practiced each day in his service to this nation. The National Rural Water Association and this entire nation owes a tremendous debt of gratitude for his service. Senator Cochran has fought the good fight, he has finished the course, he has kept the faith.