America's Unsung Heroes

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Thursday, January 25, 1996

Mr. CALLAHAN. Mr. Speaker, during his State of the Union Address this week, President Clinton recognized one of the heroes from last year's bombing in Oklahoma City. I believe this was a tradition begun by former President Reagan but regardless who started it, it is a practice which has great merit.

For all across America, there are countless unsung heroes--men and women, boys and girls--who rise to whatever occasion is necessary to lend a helping hand to one of their fellow citizens.

Such was the case in the early morning hours of New Year's day in the city of Robertsdale, AL. Then, one of my constituents, Mr. Floyd Smith, saw that his neighbor's house trailer was engulfed in flames and without regard for his own safety, rushed in to save the lives of this family.

If it were not for Mr. Smith, George and Doris Hammock, and their grandson, Adam, would no longer be with us today.

Clearly, Floyd Smith didn't wake up intending to be a hero that day. Like most Americans, he probably had other things on his mind on this first day of the new year.

But when he saw his neighbors were at risk, he raced over to try to awake the Hammocks by beating on the walls of their trailer. Then he helped the family escape the burning home through the window.

Once the Robertsdale Fire Department arrived, it took 45 minutes to totally extinguish out the fire. The Hammocks lost everything--their home, their clothes, their possessions--but thanks to Floyd Smith, they didn't lose the one thing which is truly irreplaceable--their lives.

Just like so many other heroes, Floyd Smith deserves to be recognized for his outstanding act of bravery. He put the life and well-being of others above his own. And he did so not because it was politically popular, but because it was the right thing to do.

Mr. Smith is truly an American hero and he deserves to be praised for his outstanding acts. Everyone can learn from his example and because of it, the Hammocks now have an opportunity to live out their New Year's resolutions with many more to come.

On behalf of the people of south Alabama, I salute Mr. Floyd Smith, and ask that a copy of this statement be entered into the Congressional Record.

This work is in the public domain in the United States because it is a work of the United States federal government (see 17 U.S.C. 105).