Rep. Welch to address Vergennes commemoration

VERGENNES  — Congressman Peter Welch will be the principal speaker at the annual Vergennes Memorial Day parade and ceremonies this coming Monday.
The theme to this year’s Memorial Day events is “Honor and Remember.” The parade will begin at Vergennes Union High School at 9 a.m. and end at the City Green around 1 p.m. With Mayor Bill Benton and other local, state and national dignitaries in attendance, as well as Vergennes American Legion Post 14 Commander Paul Paquin, Welch will deliver his address.
Born in Springfield, Mass., in 1947, he graduated magna cum laude from Holy Cross College in 1969. After working a year in Chicago fighting housing discrimination as one of the first Robert F. Kennedy Fellows, Welch enrolled in law school at the University of California Berkeley and graduated in 1973.
Welch settled in White River Junction and worked as a public defender before founding a small law practice. He was first elected to represent Windsor County in the Vermont Senate in 1980. In 1985 he was unanimously elected by his colleagues to lead the chamber, becoming the first Democrat in history to hold the position of president pro tempore.
In 2006, Welch was elected to Vermont’s sole seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. The 2006 campaign gained nationwide attention for being the only congressional race in the country where both candidates agreed not to run negative ads. Welch was re-elected by wide margins in 2008 and 2010.
As a member of the U.S. House, Welch has championed making homes and buildings more energy efficient, making college more affordable, and expanding access to health care. He took on the banks and credit card companies who were ripping off small businesses and consumers. And he fought to block efforts to repeal health care reform, give tax breaks to millionaires and big oil companies, and restrict women’s right to choose. Welch has been recognized in Washington as a skillful and effective legislator.
After the solemn services at the park, the Vergennes American Legion will hold its annual chicken barbecue.  

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