The flag flies at half-mast at the US Capitol on February 8, 2010 in remembrance of Congressman John Murtha (1932-2010).
President Barack Obama:
Michelle and I were deeply saddened today to hear about the passing of Congressman John Murtha. Jack was a devoted husband, a loving father and a steadfast advocate for the people of Pennsylvania for nearly 40 years. His passion for service was born during his decorated career in the United States Marine Corps, and he went on to earn the distinction of being the first Vietnam War combat veteran elected to Congress. Jack's tough-as-nails reputation carried over to Congress, where he became a respected voice on issues of national security. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife of nearly 55 years, Joyce, their three children, and the entire Murtha family.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid:
I am deeply saddened by the loss of my colleague Jack Murtha. I send my condolences to his wife, Joyce, the entire Murtha family and the people of the 12th Congressional district in Pennsylvania as they grieve his passing.
The scores of friends and colleagues who worked with Jack during his 36 years of service in Congress will miss the tenacity and passion that he brought to his job every day. Before his time in Congress, Jack served our nation admirably in Vietnam and holds the distinction of being the first Vietnam Veteran elected to the House of Representatives. The American people are safer because of the military experience that Jack Murtha brought to Congress. He will be sorely missed.
Congressman John B. Larson (D-CT), Caucus Chair:
In John Murtha, America has lost a true hero and patriot and the United States Congress has lost a giant. Our hearts go out to his wife Joyce and his entire family. John Murtha was a true gentleman whose handshake and promise you could trust. I have been lucky during my years in Congress to count him as a close friend and mentor. He has provided me, and every member of the Congress, with guidance and strength throughout his service.
Jack Murtha was the staunchest ally our military has ever had. He never backed down from a fight to make sure our brave men and women in uniform had the equipment they needed and a mission they could accomplish. He stood up for Pennsylvania and his district, never losing site of where he came from.
I am reminded at times like these of just how fleeting life can be – Jack Murtha made the most of his time. The country will miss him, this Congress will miss him and I will surely miss him.
Congressman Dave Obey (D-WI), Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee:
Jack Murtha was the first Vietnam veteran to serve in Congress and he was incredibly effective in his service in the House. He understood the misery of war. Every person who serves in the military has lost an advocate and a good friend today.
My wife Joan and I extend our sympathy and prayers to his wife Joyce, and the entire Murtha family.
Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA), Chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus:
I was deeply saddened today when I learn of Congressman Murtha's death. My heart goes out to the Murtha family on this solemn occasion.
For nearly half a century, whether it was on the battlefield as a Marine, the Pennsylvania state legislature or on Capitol Hill, John Murtha always led with distinction and honor.
He was a leader and a man of conviction, who had the courage to call for a withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq long before it was popular to do so.
Today, we have lost a friend and colleague and our country has lost a great public servant and statesman. Congressman John Murtha will be deeply missed.