Our nation has lost a giant
I didn't always agree with President George H.W. Bush. In fact, I may have been the only person in America who voted for Michael Dukakis. Despite these disagreements, however, I always respected him. He was a dignified man, able to laugh at himself and always doing what he felt best for all Americans. Although he battled in the arena of hard-fought politics, he governed in a kinder and gentler place, where we all had a responsibility to our fellow citizens.
History was not kind to President Bush in the years immediately after he left office, but time has a way of bringing clarity and perspective. Of course, the first Gulf War will always be the centerpiece of his time in office, but it often overshadows the other world-changing events that took place during his presidency.
When the Berlin Wall fell, President Bush wisely remained silent, allowing the German people to decide their destiny. When they decided that destiny was as a unified country, President Bush worked quietly but forcefully and successfully to bring that about.
I am especially grateful that he was our leader during the breakup of the Soviet Union. A lesser man would have danced, if only figuratively, on our former enemies' grave. But President Bush had the wisdom to realize that our work was only beginning and that a peaceful future for Russia required American friendship and assistance.
In this time of divisiveness and rancor, our country is badly in need of a thousand points of light. President Bush, thank you for your service from a grateful nation.