HOUSTON, TX (May 23, 2006) – Volunteers and
officials with Holocaust Museum Houston mourned the loss Tuesday of one
of its most distinguished supporters, former U.S. Treasury Secretary
Lloyd Bentsen, Jr.
Bentsen had most recently served the Museum as an honorary chairman
of the 2006 Lyndon Baines Johnson Moral Courage Award presentation to
Sir Bob Geldof on Sunday (May 21), and had received the same award
himself in May 2001.
Sunday marked the fifth year he had used his name and reputation to
help the Museum’s efforts to promote awareness and educate the public
of the dangers of prejudice, hatred and violence.
More than 1,100 people were on hand when Bentsen received the award
in 2001 in recognition of his "unwavering integrity and moral
conviction," said Museum Executive Director Susan Myers.
"Lloyd Bentsen held steadfast in his beliefs and worked tirelessly
against injustice and indifference throughout his career. He was among
an honored few individuals who have throughout their lifetimes
exhibited moral courage, individual responsibility and a willingness to
act against injustice despite personal or political consequences. We
are truly saddened by this loss," said Myers.
Bentsen began his heroic journey in the 1940s with the fight against
Nazi hatred during World War II. After graduation from The University
of Texas in 1942, he immediately enlisted in the United States Army. He
became a pilot, and by 1944, he was flying B-24 bombers on missions
over Germany. He was promoted to the rank of major and given command of
a squadron of 600 men. In 18 months of combat, he flew 35 missions and
his group was responsible for destroying the Ploesti Oil Fields in
Romania, effectively crippling the German war machine.
He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Air Medal with three oak leaf clusters, both high commendations for valor.
Holocaust Museum Houston promotes awareness and educates the public
of the dangers of prejudice, hatred and violence against the backdrop
of the Holocaust by fostering remembrance, understanding and education.