An advocate for a strong national defense and a staunch protector of Old Glory, Hatch received The American Legion's Distinguished Service Medal in 2000.

Praising the Utah Republican, National Commander Alan G. Lance Sr. said Hatch believes America's national security "is best maintained by focused involvement in world affairs. This great American leader often serves as a voice employing Congress to do what is right for America. That is what he has done when it comes to protecting the American flag from physical desecration."

A patriotic Hatch quipped that many in Washington think he ought to be "extinguished" for his views.

"If fighting for America, our flag, our military men and women, our veterans, our land and our freedom makes me an enemy, so be it!" he told convention delegates.

Despite narrow defeats for the flag-protection amendment, Hatch urged Legionnaires not to give up. "We continue to need your voice heard in Washington," he said. "We need your voice to drown those who think the best national defense is a weak national defense."

Hatch has served Utah in the U.S. Senate since 1977. He was chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee from 1995 to 2001 and again from 2003 to 2005.

After practicing law in Pittsburgh and Utah, Hatch defeated the Beehive State's three-term Democratic senator in 1976. He unsuccessfully sought the GOP presidential nod in 2000. He supports efforts to cut government, return to taxpayers more of their money, and offer safety, good health and education to children.

Hatch plays the piano, organ and violin.

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