Senator Jeff Sessions

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WASHINGTON—U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) issued the following statement today on the passing of former U.S. Senator and U.S. Navy Rear Admiral Jeremiah Denton:

“Jeremiah Denton was a friend, warrior, leader, and hero. The nation will never forget his courage when, having endured brutal torture as a POW in Vietnam, he defied and outsmarted his captors and broadcast a Morse code message to the world. He was a man of grit and character that can’t be manufactured. His word was his bond and his loyalty was unshakable.

Vietnam’s most ruthless interrogators couldn’t break the iron will of this rock-ribbed Alabama native. During his videotaped inquisition he declared: ‘whatever the position of my government is, I support it fully… and I will as long as I live.’ After being freed from the Vietnamese prison camp, before returning to home soil, he again displayed his abiding sense of duty, saying: ‘We are honored to have had the opportunity to serve our country under difficult circumstances. We are profoundly grateful to our Commander-in-Chief and to our nation for this day. God bless America.’

He also had a deep religious faith that helped inspire his service in the U.S. Senate. The city of Mobile, the state of Alabama, the Navy, and the Congress have all been honored to know him.

My wife, Mary, and I pray that his family will draw strength from the knowledge that his legacy will outlive us all.

May God bless him on his next journey.”



Jeremiah Denton was born on July 15, 1924 in Mobile, Alabama. He served in the U.S. Navy until his retirement as a Rear Admiral in 1977. Jeremiah Denton was held captive as a POW in Vietnam, where he used Morse code to inform the world that American POWs were being tortured, spelling out the letters T-O-R-T-U-R-E by blinking his eyes as he spoke. He was elected to the U.S. Senate for Alabama in 1980. You can read more about his remarkable life here.