WASHINGTON (KTVZ) -- Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore., spoke on the House floor in honor of Oregon's 161st birthday.
Below are Rep. Walden's remarks as prepared for delivery:
February 14, 2020 -- the day that Oregon celebrates her 161st birthday.
Age does not wither her, as she is as beautiful and magnificent as ever.
As a lifelong Oregonian whose ancestors came to Oregon by wagon train in 1845, I may be biased, but I can confidently say there is no place like Oregon.
She boasts of so many unparalleled wonders and sights:
The power of the waters and winds of the Columbia River Gorge.
The quiet majesty of the Painted Hills.
The green, lush landscape of Umatilla National Forest.
The deep waters of Crater Lake – the deepest fresh water lake in North America.
The high peaks of the grand Cascades, sweeping Steens Mountain, and the Wallowas – sometimes called Oregon’s Alps.
I could go on forever.
My state is also home to a host of remarkable people. Oregonians are hardworking, generous, conscientious, down-to-earth, and kind. Countless groundbreaking artists, musicians, journalists, inventors, and leaders have called our state home over the last 161 years.
One of those trailblazers, the late great Oregon Governor Tom McCall said it best:
"Oregon is an inspiration. Whether you come to it, or are born to it, you become entranced by our state's beauty, the opportunity she affords, and the independent spirit of her citizens."
McCall, and many others, have called Oregon the “State of Excitement.” This is a name well-earned. Our small corner of the United States is as rambunctious as it is breathtaking. From the earliest days of our state, Oregon has embodied the best of America, and the pioneer spirit of the West.
So, on Oregon’s 161st birthday, the most fitting tribute is simply to remember our state motto: “She flies with her own wings.”
You can watch Rep. Walden full remarks here.