Speeches and Statements

Murphy Floor Speech to Honor Congressman Alcee Hastings

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Washington, April 22, 2021 | comments

Mr. Speaker,

I rise to say my final goodbye to Alcee Hastings, the dean of Florida’s congressional delegation, who recently passed away. 

Someone will be elected to fill his seat, but Alcee is irreplaceable. 


His life was full, complex, and extraordinary.   


Born in 1936, Alcee spent his formative years in my district.  He lived in Altamonte Springs and attended the all-Black Crooms Academy in Sanford.


This was the segregated South, where the opportunities available to African Americans were few and the obstacles to success were many.


But Alcee was a force of nature.  He rose to became an attorney, then a state judge, and then a federal judge. 


Judge Hastings suffered a setback, but he rose again, becoming a Member of Congress, admired by his colleagues and beloved by his constituents.


As Congressman Hakeem Jeffries put it:  Alcee “loved the people he served” and he always fought for “the least, the lost, and the left behind.”


The book of Alcee’s life contained challenging chapters. 


But ultimately it is a story of redemption, and achievement in the face of adversity, written by a warrior for justice and equality who left the world far better than he found it.


Rest in peace, Congressman.  You’ve earned it. 

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