We went to a political event in Minneapolis tonight. All of Minnesota’s Republican luminaries were there. Former Congressman and Governor Al Quie and former Senator Rudy Boschwitz received Lifetime Achievement awards. It was a fun evening with lots of high points, but the most emotional moment came in the speech Boschwitz gave after accepting his award.
Near the beginning of his talk, he expressed dismay that a Democratic Presidential candidate, Barack Obama, had made a political statement out of removing the American flag pin from his lapel, apparently out of some kind of shame. “The American people aren’t going to buy it,” he said.
Rudy then told the story of how his father decided to leave Germany on the day when Adolf Hitler took power. It was a wise decision; by 1945, all of Rudy’s relatives in Europe, save one, had been murdered by the Nazis. Boschwitz arrived in America at age three. He described how, as a young immigrant, he had a burning desire to make something of himself, to be a success. Hard work did bring him success, in the form of a booming small business. He entered politics, first with the Republican Party in Minnesota, then in the Senate, where he served two terms. He described some of his favorite moments when, as a member of the Republican Senate leadership, he met weekly with President Reagan. Rudy’s concluding words, as he put his hand over his own flag lapel pin, and his heart, were: “I’m keeping mine here.”
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