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Perhaps more than ever our nation needs the reminders of the Bush 41 presidency that have been on display this week for his funeral. For me, it’s a haunting realization that not only are the pivotal figures I looked up to in my youth getting older, many have now departed.

I remember Reagan naming Bush as his running mate and casting my first vote for president to their ticket. The years that followed were filled with indelible images of President and Mrs. Reagan and Vice President and Mrs. Bush standing together. The pride I felt for those four people and the strength of character, integrity, decency and leadership they exuded has been unparalleled.

I remember seeing President and Mrs. Bush on the ISU quad, and following them to El Paso where they asked for our vote. I remember where I was when the Berlin Wall fell and when the former Soviet Union fell, without any bloodshed. I remember the first Gulf War and watching President Bush with firm resolve address our nation and humbly ask for our prayers. In those moments we saw the best of America.

Which is exactly what we’ve seen this week. The heart wrenching scene of former U.S. Sen. Dole standing to salute President Bush’s casket, reminds us we’re losing the Greatest Generation all too quickly. We must stop at this important moment and consider their service to our country.

From a grateful nation, we love you and miss you, President and Mrs. Bush.

Craig Stimpert , Normal

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