More on death of Congressman Murtha

Both Governor Rendell and President Obama are weighing in on the death of Democratic Congressman John Murtha, who passed away this afternoon at the age of 77.  Murtha was the longest-serving Congressman in Pennsylvania history, and also spent five years in the state House.  Flags have been ordered to half-mast across Pennsylvania until after Murtha’s funeral. The governor and president’s statements are below.

Noting the passing today of U.S. Rep. John “Jack” Murtha, Governor Edward G. Rendell today said all Pennsylvanians should be sad at the loss of this “uber-congressman.”

“Pennsylvania has lost one of its greatest citizens,” Governor Rendell said. “Congressman Murtha impacted the entire state, not just his congressional district, in ways that almost no individual has. He did so much for so many of us throughout the commonwealth.

“He was also the best friend and supporter of our military and the men and women who risk their lives for our country. He worked tirelessly to ensure that our military had the resources it needed to do its job effectively and that our service men and women had every piece of equipment necessary to protect them. He had the courage and integrity to make sure the military was on the right track and he was not afraid to raise questions.

“He will be sorely missed by every citizen of the commonwealth,” the Governor said. “Midge and I extend our deepest sympathy and support to the Murtha family.”

Governor Rendell ordered all Pennsylvania and U.S. flags across the commonwealth to be flown at half-staff in memory of the late congressman.

“This is fitting because Jack Murtha was not just a wonderful congressman for his district, but for all of Pennsylvania,” said Governor Rendell. “No matter what the issue was, Jack and Jack’s office was the first call we would make. No matter where you were in Pennsylvania, and certainly for anyone sitting in this chair, he was the go-to guy. He will be missed in countless ways.”

Flags will remain at half-staff through interment.


Michelle and I were deeply saddened today to hear about the passing of Congressman John Murtha.  Jack was a devoted husband, a loving father and a steadfast advocate for the people of Pennsylvania for nearly 40 years. His passion for service was born during his decorated career in the United States Marine Corps, and he went on to earn the distinction of being the first Vietnam War combat veteran elected to Congress.  Jack’s tough-as-nails reputation carried over to Congress, where he became a respected voice on issues of national security.  Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife of nearly 55 years, Joyce, their three children, and the entire Murtha family.


About pubradiopolitics
Scott covers state government and politics for Pennsylvania's public radio stations, including WITF in Harrisburg, WHYY in Philadelphia and WDUQ in Pittsburgh.

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