“Mr. Speaker, today I rise to honor the life of Martin Cobb, an 8 year old boy from Richmond, Virginia who was taken from us way too soon. He was killed in a heinous act while trying to protect his 12 year old sister from a violent attacker.
“From the very beginning Martin was a fighter against all odds, surviving open heart surgery at 3 months old, when the doctors didn’t believe he was going to make it. Martin was a student at Elizabeth Redd Elementary School and he enjoyed the kinds of things most kids grow fond of: playing with toy cars and riding his bike around the neighborhood.
“Martin didn’t have a father at home and so his mother referred to him as the ‘man of the house.’ As a loving son and brother, relatives say he had the ‘heart of a lion.’
“We will always remember him as a true family man, someone who loved his sister so much that he gave his life to protect her. In the face of grave danger, his only thought, his only instinct, was to help his sister.
“At 8 years old, he may have been small in stature, some say he looked no older than 4 or 5, but in his last moments, Martin showed he was a bigger man than most men ever dream to be.
“We honor Martin by remembering his incredible bravery. But let us also commit to honoring him by redoubling our efforts to foster safer neighborhoods and communities that produce more Martin’s and less assailants. Our children should be able to grow up enjoying childhood not fearing for their lives.
“In Martin’s front yard there now reads a sign, ‘A Real Hero Lived, Fought, and Died Here.’ Martin may no longer be with us, but I hope and pray his strength, his courage, and his spirit endure in each and every one of us.”