A Tribute to Bill Holmberg

Source: By Larry Pearce, Governors' Biofuels Coalition • Posted: Friday, September 9, 2016

Our friend, Bill Holmberg, died yesterday.  He made me believe that anything is possible.  Bill is a giant to me.  And to others, too:


Mr. DASCHLE. Mr. President, I want to call my colleagues’ attention to a specific passage in President Bush’s commencement address at the  U.S. Naval Academy last month that was particularly meaningful to me.

In that reference, the President paid tribute to the heroism of a longtime friend of mine, retired Marine Corps Lt. Colonel William C. Holmberg, class of ’51.

I  would like to quote from the President’s speech:

But there are many others from the Class of ’51 whose stories are lesser known, such as retired Lieutenant Colonel William C. Holmberg. One year and a handful of days after graduation, Second Lieutenant Holmberg found himself on the Korean peninsula, faced with a daunting task: to infiltrate his platoon deep behind enemy lines in an area swarming with patrol; to rout a tenacious enemy; to seize and hold their position. And that’s what he did. And that’s what his platoon did.

Along the way, they came under heavy fire and engaged in fierce hand-to-hand combat. Despite severe wounds, Lieutenant Holmberg refused to be evacuated, and continued to deliver orders and direct the offensive until the mission was accomplished.

And that’s why he wears the Navy Cross. And today, his deeds, and the deeds of other heroes from that class, echo down through the ages to you. You can’t dictate the values that make you a hero. You can’t buy them, but you can foster them.

I commend the President for his recognition of this very special American. I have known Bill Holmberg ever since I came to Washington as a freshman Congressman more than 20 years ago. I know Bill not as a war hero, but as an indefatigable champion of the environment and as a visionary who understood the potential of renewable fuels for improving air quality and reducing our dependence on imported oil long before they were accepted as a viable alternative to fossil fuels.

Bill is a true American hero who stands as a model for us all. His selfless commitment to making the world a better place to live has been demonstrated not only on distant battlefields, but also by his daily pursuit of a more secure, environmentally sustainable and just society.

I join with President Bush in saluting Lt. Colonel William C. Holmberg, a sustainable American hero.

From Congressional Record (Bound Edition), Volume 147 (2001), Page 1101.