2017 - 2018 LEGISLATURE
August 3, 2017 - Introduced by Senators Testin, Tiffany, Shilling, Cowles,
Petrowski, Moulton, Olsen, Carpenter, Johnson, Nass, Risser, Wirch,
Marklein and Vinehout, cosponsored by Representatives Shankland, Barca,
Krug, VanderMeer, Kulp, Ballweg, Ripp, Mursau, Spiros, Edming, Snyder,
Allen, Anderson, Berceau, Considine, Hintz, Jarchow, Kuglitsch, Murphy,
Pope, Sargent, Sinicki, Spreitzer, Tauchen, Vruwink, Wachs and Zepnick.
Referred to Committee on Senate Organization.
SJR72,1,1 1Relating to: the life and public service of Melvin Robert Laird.
SJR72,1,32 Whereas, former Congressman and Secretary of Defense Melvin Robert Laird
3was born on September 1, 1922, and died on November 16, 2016; and
SJR72,1,64 Whereas, Melvin Laird was born to Melvin R. Laird Sr. and Helen (Connor)
5Laird, was raised and attended school in Marshfield, and graduated from Carleton
6College in Minnesota; and
SJR72,1,97 Whereas, Mr. Laird served in the U.S. Navy from 1942 to 1946, serving in the
8Pacific Fleet with Task Forces 38 and 58, and while serving, he received a Purple
9Heart and other awards; and
SJR72,1,1410 Whereas, after leaving the Navy, Mr. Laird continued to pursue a life of public
11service, first being elected in 1946 to succeed his father in the Wisconsin State
12Senate, then being elected in 1952 to represent Wisconsin's 7th District in the House
13of Representatives, which included the areas of Marshfield, Wausau, Wisconsin
14Rapids, and Stevens Point; and
1Whereas, as a Congressman, Mr. Laird was reelected eight consecutive times,
2developing a reputation as a key member on medical and health issues, and
3sponsoring legislation for major expansions of the National Institutes of Health and
4the Communicable Disease Center in Atlanta, in addition to supporting cancer
5research centers around the country; and
SJR72,2,96 Whereas, Mr. Laird was selected by President Richard M. Nixon to serve as the
7Secretary of Defense, a role in which he confronted American challenges in Vietnam
8through the development of “Vietnamization,” a program to train and equip South
9Vietnam's forces for combat while reducing U.S. combat troops; and
SJR72,2,1310 Whereas, as Secretary of Defense, Mr. Laird worked to decentralize
11decision-making, to reduce the defense budget, to transition to an all-volunteer
12military by ending the draft, and to maintain U.S. technological superiority with
13weapons like the B-1, Trident, and cruise missiles; and
SJR72,2,1614 Whereas, after serving his term as Secretary of Defense, Mr. Laird wrote for
15Reader's Digest and other publications, and in 1974 was awarded the Presidential
16Medal of Freedom by President Ford; and
SJR72,2,1917 Whereas, Mr. Laird is survived by his wife Carole, son David, daughter Alison
18Laird-Large, son John, stepdaughter Kimberly Dalgleish, four grandsons, and one
19step-granddaughter; now, therefore, be it
SJR72,2,22 20Resolved by the senate, the assembly concurring, That the members of the
21Wisconsin legislature salute Melvin Laird's public service and honor his tremendous
22achievements and service to his country; and, be it further
SJR72,2,24 23Resolved, That the senate chief clerk shall provide a copy of this joint
24resolution to his family.
SJR72,2,2525 (End)