Pete Honored as House Passes Joint Memorial 14
From the Idaho Statesman - March 22, 2012
With a tip of his Basque beret, 95-years-young Cenarrusa returns to the Idaho House to see peace measure pass
With hopes for peace in the Basque Country at a historic high after 40 years of conflict, former Secretary of State and House Speaker Pete Cenarrusa sat in the VIP gallery as the House unanimously passed by voice vote House Joint Memorial 14 Thursday morning.
After the debate, the House went at ease and stood in unison to applaud Cenarrusa, who stood, smiling and waving to the people on the floor where he served from 1951-67.
The non-binding measure's sponsor, Rep. Carlos Bilbao, R-Emmett, noted Idaho's historic connections with the Basque provinces of Spain and France and the current economic, cultural and academic ties.
"It is an historic opportunity to continue that momentum," Bilbao said. "Idaho and it's citizens are committed to peace...I urge your 'yes' vote for humanity and for the Basque people."
Rep. Linden Bateman, R-Idaho Falls, paid personal tribute to Cenarrusa, who knew Bateman's grandfather when Cenarrusa raised sheep in Blaine County.
Cenarrusa served a half-century in state office as a member of the House and Secretary of State, a record. He was accompanied by his wife, Freda, and Gloria Totoricaguena, a scholar of Basque politics attached to the Cenarrusa Foundation for Basque Culture. Cenarrusa sported his signature dark beret and a big grin.
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