Bill Text: MN SR74 | 2019-2020 | 91st Legislature | Draft

Bill Title: A Senate resolution honoring the military service of Arleigh Birk

Spectrum: Moderate Partisan Bill (Democrat 4-1)

Status: (Introduced) 2019-03-14 - Referred to Rules and Administration [SR74 Detail]

Download: Minnesota-2019-SR74-Draft.html

1.1A Senate resolution
1.2honoring the military service of Arleigh Birk.
1.3WHEREAS, Boatswain's Mate First Class Arleigh Birk, United States Navy, one of the last surviving
1.4Pearl Harbor veterans from Minnesota, was one of the true American heroes of that day and of the long
1.5World War that followed; and
1.6WHEREAS, at the time of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, Arleigh was
1.7stationed on the USS Honolulu, watching as Japanese warplanes filled the skies and the USS Arizona
1.8exploded in fire. The Honolulu itself sustained damage in the attack, and Arleigh was transferred to the USS
1.9Denver where he remained in the Pacific Theatre until the war's end; and
1.10WHEREAS, during those years in the Pacific, Arleigh and his mates on the USS Denver were part
1.11of the force that engaged and sank the Japanese destroyers Minegumo and Murasame in the 1943 Battle of
1.12Blackett Strait; and
1.13WHEREAS, in October 1943, they earned the Navy Unit Commendation for outstanding performance
1.14in the battle of Empress Augusta Bay for helping sink one enemy light cruiser and a destroyer, and heavily
1.15damaging two heavy cruisers and two destroyers; and
1.16WHEREAS, on July 4, 1944, Arleigh and the crew of the USS Denver bombarded Iwo Jima, fought
1.17numerous battles throughout the Pacific, and fought off a Kamikaze attack during action in the Leyte Gulf;
1.19WHEREAS, in September 1945, Arleigh and the USS Denver sailed from Okinawa to cover the
1.20evacuation of Allied forces imprisoned in the Wakayama area before heading home to Norfolk, Virginia,
1.21where they arrived on November 21, 1945; and
1.22WHEREAS, he was honorably discharged from the Navy on January 12, 1946, six years and one
1.23month after he had joined, and was married to Marion, his wife of 72 years, the following year; and
1.24WHEREAS, he worked for 25 years at the Erie Mining Company until his retirement, when he and
1.25Marion moved to Hoyt Lakes; and
2.1WHEREAS, back in the early 2000s, he kept in touch with fellow veterans through the Pearl Harbor
2.2Survivors Association, and in recent years he has been a guest of honor at the Hoyt Lakes and Gilbert VFWs;
2.4WHEREAS, he turned 99 years old on February 27, 2019, still lives in his home in Hoyt Lakes, and
2.5drives to the Northern Pines Care Center in Aurora to visit Marion; and
2.6NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Senate of the State of Minnesota that it honors
2.7Arleigh Birk on his many years of generous service to his state and country.
2.8BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Secretary of the Senate is directed to prepare an enrolled
2.9copy of this resolution, to be authenticated by the Secretary's signature and that of the Chair of the Senate
2.10Rules and Administration Committee, and transmit it to Arleigh Birk.
Cal R. LudemanSecretary of the Senate Paul E. GazelkaChair, Senate Committee onRules and Administration
Gregory D. ClausenState Senator, District 57