It was with a very heavy heart that I heard of the passing of Ben Gilman.
When I first started my professional career in Washington, Mr. Gilman was chair of the House International Relations Committee, as it was then called, and a relentless supporter.
His career was always one of service and of commitment to the voiceless. Whether during his years in the Army Air Corps in World War II, flying 35 missions over Japan and earning a Distinguished Flying Cross, an assistant New York State attorney general in the 1950s, or a New York assemblyman from 1966 to 1972, Ben Gilman chose to put others above himself.
Ben and his loving wife, Georgia, stood by me during personal and professional developments and challenges. They were the model of a loving and devoted couple, and remain to this day an ideal of marriage to which I aspire.
How can one honor the loss of such a man other than to say, “Thank you. You will be sorely missed.” Our thoughts and prayers are with Georgia, his two sons, Jonathan and Harrison; his daughter, Susan; his stepdaughter, Nicole Pappas; his stepson, Peter Tingus; and his 11 grandchildren.