Weekly Update: A Legacy of Honor
By Congressman Rob Wittman
December 8, 2018
Hail to the Chief we have chosen for the nation,
Hail to the Chief! We salute him, one and all.
Hail to the Chief, as we pledge cooperation
In proud fulfillment of a great, noble call.
This week, the nation mourned the loss of our 41st president, George Herbert Walker Bush. A man who indeed fulfilled his great, noble call to serve with integrity, courage, and honor.
President Bush’s list of achievements was impressive to say the least: Navy pilot, congressman, Ambassador to the UN, Republican National Committee Chairman, Head of U.S. Liaison Office in China, Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, Vice President, and finally President of the United States. He was America’s Commander-in-Chief to serve in the military during combat.
Mr. Bush, a top negotiator on the international stage, approached the changing world with a view that was pragmatic rather than ideological. Under his leadership, the Berlin Wall, a symbol of communist oppression, fell. In Latin America, Mr. Bush restored free elections in Nicaragua, ultimately leading to the Sandinista government being voted out of power. In the Middle East, the United States successfully kept Saddam Hussein out of Kuwait, protecting global stability.
However, as I stood in the Capitol Rotunda surrounded by family and friends of the Bush’s, Vice President Pence, and my colleagues, I remembered something else the president brought to American politics: civility. Although our president almost three decades ago, Mr. Bush’s voice of bipartisanship and humility remained strong and his dedication to our country unwavering. He once said, “When the really tough choices come, it's the country, not me. It's not about Democrats or Republicans, it's for our country that I fought for.”
In my life, I have tried to replicate this behavior. The only way to get real change is to put your pride aside and work on the issues that matter – regardless of party lines. Here in Congress, I always try to work across the aisle to get the things done that are important to my constituents. Mr. Bush’s voice of civility and diplomacy will be missed.
Winston Churchill once said, “We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give.” President George Herbert Walker Bush contributed so much to our great nation, dedicating his life to public service. As we remember our 41st President of the United States, we remember a patriot, a man of virtue, a class act.
Rest in peace, Mr. President. Your legacy lives on and will continue to inspire future leaders.