Standing ovation for Sen. John KerryJohn KerryEgypt’s death squads and America's deafening silence With help from US, transformative change in Iran is within reach Ellison comments on Obama criticized as 'a stupid thing to say' MORE, Democrat of Massachusetts and chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, for outstanding leadership on and stewardship of the START Treaty. Standing ovation for Sen. Dick Lugar, Republican of Indiana and ranking Republican on the Foreign Relations Committee, and for the 13 Republican senators who voted to ratify START.

I have seen many senators come and go, and John Kerry is one of the finest I have ever known. His prodigious work on the START Treaty was a textbook case of what a senator and committee chairman can do, in the best tradition of the Senate.

Kerry's knowledge of nuclear weaponry is comprehensive and deep. His ability to work with Republicans in good faith is profound. His relationships with military leaders, his heroism during the Vietnam War when the served with the United States Navy and his legislative skill as a senator and chairman led to the great triumph for Kerry, the Senate, and American diplomacy today.

The president deserves great credit for the ratification of START. Sen. Lugar deserves credit. The bipartisan group of senators who voted to ratify deserve credit. The Senate majority leader, Harry ReidHarry ReidDraft House bill ignites new Yucca Mountain fight Week ahead: House to revive Yucca Mountain fight Warren builds her brand with 2020 down the road MORE (D-Nev.), deserves credit for strong support of the treaty and being fair to all parties in consideration of the treaty.

Today was a great day for the Senate, for American diplomacy and for American security.

Today was John Kerry's finest hour, of many fine hours, and many more to come from one of the great chairmen in the tradition of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.