On Monday, Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger announced that Burlington International Airport would be renamed Patrick Leahy International Airport.
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Leahy, a Democrat who represented Vermont in the U.S. Senate for nearly 50 years, recently retired and moved to Burlington. He was unable to attend the address in person due to a back injury, but his wife, Marcelle, accepted the honor on his behalf.
"Patrick always strived to bring Vermont values to Washington," Marcelle Leahy said. "His journey to share those values always began with his flight out of Burlington. His love for Vermont runs deep, and while he worked long and hard in Washington, he always looked forward to returning home."
The announcement was met with thunderous applause from the audience, which included many of Leahy's former colleagues and constituents. It was also praised by President Joe Biden and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, who both recorded messages that were played at the event.
"Everyone who flies through will remember your tenacity, your service," Biden said. "You've done a hell of a job, buddy. God love ya."
The renaming of Burlington International Airport is a fitting tribute to Leahy's legacy of service to Vermont and the United States.
He is the longest-serving senator in Vermont history, and he played a key role in shaping many of the state's most important policies.
He is also a beloved figure in Vermont, and the renaming of the airport is a way for the state to honor his service and dedication.