2005 Regular Session
By: Representative Peranich, Blackmon, Broomfield, Burnett, Calhoun, Coleman (29th), Compretta, Dedeaux, Dickson, Espy, Flaggs, Fleming, Fredericks, Frierson, Gibbs, Green, Holloway, Huddleston, Ishee, Janus, McCoy, Middleton, Myers, Patterson, Read, Robinson (63rd), Shows, Simpson, Smith (27th), Staples, Straughter, Sullivan, Thomas, Upshaw, Watson, Bentz, Guice
A CONCURRENT RESOLUTION COMMENDING THE LIFE AND ACCOMPLISHMENTS OF COLONEL LAWRENCE E. ROBERTS AND EXPRESSING DEEPEST SYMPATHY TO HIS FAMILY AND FRIENDS UPON HIS PASSING.
WHEREAS, Colonel Lawrence E. Roberts, an American hero, loving husband, devoted father, warrior, gentleman, man of God and decorated veteran of both the U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force, departed this life on Tuesday, October 12, 2004, at the age of 81 to enter into eternal rest, causing great sorrow and loss to his family and friends; and
WHEREAS, having served his country in many capacities as a groundbreaking Tuskegee Airman, a decorated fighter pilot and a highly respected officer, Colonel Roberts, in addition to being a model figure for his family, served his chosen Gulf Coast community in the capacities that matter most: improving education, molding young leaders and living his deeply held belief in the strength of God and family; and
WHEREAS, there can be no greater measure of success than to say that a person's life made the world a better place, and the measure of Colonel Roberts' success cannot yet be taken, because the profound impact upon his family and friends will continue to be his legacy of strength, responsibility, integrity and faith for generations; and
WHEREAS, remaining humble in every aspect of life, making no mention of his own distinguished career, Colonel Roberts shared his family with the community and the nation, and that deep family pride and support provided the foundation upon which the building blocks of confidence and success were solidly grounded; and
WHEREAS, one of the famed Tuskegee Airmen, Roberts arrived at Keesler Air Force Base, Biloxi, Mississippi, as a cadet in 1943 and retired there as a colonel in 1975 and he subsequently worked with Global Associates until retiring permanently in 1985; and
WHEREAS, having grown up in Vauxhall, New Jersey, Colonel Roberts made his first flight in a J-3 Piper Cub, and as a Tuskegee Airman, flew Piper Cubs, Boeing B-25 bombers, C-54 transports and F-86 fighter jets; and
WHEREAS, the timeline of Colonel Roberts' military career is complemented by an impressive record of service as he progressed through the ranks, inclusive of Keesler Air Force Base; Tuskegee Institute, first as cadet and later as assistant professor of air science; Lockbourne Air Force Base, Ohio; Japan; Williams Air Force Base, Arizona; Sioux City Air Force Base; Canada; McGuire Air Force Base, New Jersey; Izmir, Turkey, as NATO Commander; and Vietnam, as adviser to the South Vietnamese Air Force; and
WHEREAS, as a member of the historic and prestigious all-black U.S. Army Air Corps units that flew 1,578 missions over Europe and the Pacific during World War II and engaged in an additional 200 missions as bomber escorts which never lost a single aircraft; Colonel Roberts never received the opportunity to engage in World War II combat, but served in Vietnam, where he was awarded one of his three Legion of Merit medals; and
WHEREAS, while Colonel Roberts carried great responsibility in the Air Force, he also remained active in community groups, including Leadership Gulf Coast, the Boy Scouts of America, the Pass Christian Rotary Club, the Pass Christian School Board and in 1996, along with his family, created the Genesis Foundation of Mississippi, Inc., to assist Coast nonprofit agencies and organizations; and
WHEREAS, a deeply religious man and member of First Presbyterian Church in Bay St. Louis, Colonel Roberts was never too busy for his family and instilled in them a spirit of giving; and
WHEREAS, hailed as a legend of his time, Colonel Roberts will be remembered for his genteel spirit and genuine concern for a better quality of life and education for all, and his legacy and memory will forever thrive in the hearts and memories of his survivors, including: wife of 57 years, Lucimarian; son, Lawrence II; daughters, Sally Ann, Dorothy and Robin; eight grandchildren; and a host of friends and colleagues; and
WHEREAS, it is the policy of the Legislature to commend the lives of such notable and humble Mississippians as Colonel Roberts, whose life will forever be remembered in the history of this state and nation, and who inspired countless numbers to strive diligently to achieve their dreams:
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, THE SENATE CONCURRING THEREIN, That we do hereby commend the life of the legendary Tuskegee Airman, astute soldier and devout Mississippian, Colonel Lawrence E. Roberts, and extend our deepest sympathy to his family and friends upon his passing.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That copies of this resolution be furnished to the family of Colonel Roberts and to the members of the Capitol Press Corps.