IN HONOR OF IRA WEINSTEIN
<bullet> Mr. DURBIN. Mr. President, I would like to take a moment to
make my colleagues aware of the accomplishments of an outstanding
Illinois citizen. This Thursday, June 10, Ira P. Weinstein will turn
80. As we celebrated Memorial Day just a week ago, I think it is
appropriate to mention Mr. Weinstein's service to our country as it is
a constant reminder that without the dedication and bravery of so many
like him, the freedom we are privileged to enjoy could not be possible.
Born in Chicago, Illinois on June 10, 1919, Mr. Weinstein entered the
U.S. Army Air Corps in 1942, just as America was being drawn into World
War II. Trained as a Navigator-Bombardier, Mr. Weinstein rose to the
rank of First Lieutenant and proceeded to fly 25 missions during World
War II as a member of the 8th Air Force 445 Bomb Group, 702nd Squadron.
Although the 24 previous missions he flew had been safe ones, Mr.
Weinstein's 25th would be his most harrowing.
On September 27, 1944, Mr Weinstein's plane was shot down over
Germany during the Kassell Mission. As he parachuted to the ground, Mr.
Weinstein found safety and eluded capture for six days. Unfortunately,
he was found by the enemy and held as a Prisoner of War in Stalag Luft
I, in Barth, Germany. On May 11, 1945, the camp where Mr. Weinstein was
held was liberated, ending an eight-month ordeal as a POW. For his
heroism, Mr. Weinstein was awarded several distinguished service
medals. These include the Purple Heart, the Air Medal, the POW Medal, a
Presidential Citation, the American Campaign and European Campaign
Medals, the WW II Victory Medal, and the distinguished French Croix de
After returning from the war, Mr. Weinstein, like so many others of
his generation, went on to become accomplished in the world of
business, building a successful advertising agency respected throughout
the Chicago area. Despite the loss of his wife several years ago, Mr.
Weinstein, now retired, enjoys being a grandfather and takes special
pride in his expertise as a horticulturist.
I am pleased to take this opportunity today to honor an American hero
and one of my constituents. As we did one week ago today, we should not
hesitate to honor our defenders of freedom every day as we enjoy the
liberty they fought so hard to protect.<bullet>