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Vol. 145  Washington, D.C. - Wednesday, September 8, 1999  No. 115

Congressional Record
House of Representatives
CELEBRATING THE 125TM ANNIVERSARY
OF THE ARRIVAL OF MENNONITES IN AMERICA

HON. JERRY MORAN OF KANSAS
HON. JOHN R. THUNE OF SOUTH
DAKOTA

Mr. MORAN of Kansas. Mr. Speaker, I
rise today with the gentleman from
South Dakota, Mr. Thune, to commem-
orate the 125th Anniversary of the
arrival of the Mennonites in the United
States.
To do so, I would like to read from a
poem written by my constituent, Mrs.
Gladys Graber Goerhag of Hutchinson, Kansas:

"A HYMN OF HERITAGE"
Sing a song of deep gratitude
To our God, Who by His grace,
Led a people through centuries
To this special time and place.
Glad hosannas to you belong,
Joy of the Lord, our strength and song.
Tell the prairies' welcoming call
Soil rich to the farmer's hand,
Grasses and sky and spacious fields
Beckoned families to the land,
Promised them freedom to pursue
The peaceful life which once theyknew.
Simple homes built on the broad plain,
Church and school as their domain,
Mennonites soon felt richly blest,
Stretching borders east to west,
Children and children's children grown
Claimed the new land as their own.
One-room schoolhouse and ABC's
Played a part in wisdora's call.
Stumbling now with a language strange,
Students soon embraced it all.
Learning continued through the years
Pointing the way to new careers.
Caring families eased the way
Through the stresses of each day
Dust and storm, depression and fears,
Conscience and war, conflicts and tears,
As generations moved along,
Anchored safe in families strong.
Sing a song of our heritage,
Home and church and values tree,
Faith enduring, foundation firm,
Building blocks on which we grew.
God of the ages, help us, pray,
Increase the good gifts of today.


 

The accomplishments of the Mennonite community, in Kansas and South Dakota and in America are many. What continues Co endure is the strength of their
communities and of the values that they share.
In a world that is rapidly changing,
where information is shared around the
globe instantly, and where too often,
faith is an antiquated notion, the
Mennonite community has retained its
belief in service to the global
community, peaceful resolution to
conflict, and faith in God. From
Moundridge, Kansas to Freeman, South
Dakota, Mennonites have gone above
and beyond the call of duty to serve
people in need.
Today, farmers are still growing the
Turkey Red Winter Wheat that the
Mennonites brought with them 125
years ago. Midwestem states like
Kansas and South Dakota make up the
"Bread Basket of the World" and our
farmers produce more wheat than any
other states. The gentleman from South
Dakota and I are grateful that so many
Mennonites chose Moundridge and
Freeman as their homes and helped to
shape our great states.
It is an honor to commemorate this
anniversary.

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