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Sen. Edward Martin

Reflecting on Martin's 44-year military career, National Commander Harry Colmery praised the Keystone State senator as he presented him with the Distinguished Service Medal: "Today, The American Legion reaches into the state of Pennsylvania, and places in her gallery of the great, a distinguished son of that state, who, in arts and learning, military prowess, public service and administration, and statesmanship reflects the character of our American heritage."

Martin, a Legionnaire, shared his gratitude for the distinction. "The Legion has become a symbol to the American people," he said. "The Legion knows war. The Legion hates war. But it will not be bluffed by threats from any bully nation, no matter what color its flag or its shirts.

"We have seen what happens when our nation's sword is allowed to become dull and rusty. If we can help it, that shall not happen again. We want no more Pearl Harbors."

Trained as a lawyer, Martin followed his military service during the Spanish-American War with a career as a climbing Republican officeholder. Between World War I and World War II, Martin served Pennsylvania's auditor general and treasurer. Near the end of World War II, he served one term as governor, including a year as chairman of the National Governors Association.

Martin moved on to Congress in 1947, serving two terms as a senator before retiring. He also wrote "Always Be On Time: An Autobiography." He died in Washington, Pa., in 1967, at 87.

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